Why is it important to increase quality in early childhood education you ask, because of the large increase of the achievement gap. Closing the gap begins in the early years.
The "achievement gap" refers to persistent differences in the academic achievement of students from differing backgrounds. The biggest predictor of the gap is access to High quality early childhood program.
Children of poverty, score lower as a group than children from higher-income families. Existing achievement gaps in reading and math at the beginning of the 4th and 8th grades are the most well-known, thanks to the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing. This report shows minimal to no gains in reading and math for all students. The poorest students scored worse than in 2015, whereas the highest performing students improved. And the gap widens.
Demographic data shows that 50% or more of American public-school students are poor and a majority (53%) of American public-school students are persons of color. We are based in Plano, Texas which most consider an affluent area. Our middle school was designated title I, in 2016. This means that more than 40% of the student’s quality to receive free or reduced lunch services. North Texas needs to wake up and realize that this is everyone’s problem not “certain communities” or children from “certain demographics”. For economic prosperity in our communities, we need all children to be productive, capable, well-educated workers—regardless of their background!
Nearly all jobs require high school level reading and math skills. Beyond the ability to simply support themselves, children who experience high-quality preschool grow up and achieve more.
Employers are increasingly concerned there will be too few workers with the skills needed for the jobs of the future. Even the U. S. military struggles to fill its workforce needs, due in part to unacceptably low achievement levels among potential recruits.
While we've made some progress reducing the achievement gap for black and Hispanic children, the bigger issue is the disparity between poor and non-poor students, regardless of race and ethnicity. High and low achievers exist within every race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic level. But it is crucial that we maintain high expectations for EVERY child, providing equity to disadvantaged children, families and communities.
As a grass roots nonprofit, it is our mission to provide the opportunity for EVERY child to experience a High-quality early childhood education. It is the key in our communities to closing the gap. The earliest years of childhood go by quickly, but their impact lasts forever. As much as 85 percent of critical human brain development occurs in a child’s first three years. Young children flourish when they are exposed to language, books, diverse experiences and developmentally appropriate learning. Most children living in poverty miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Thousands of our region’s economically disadvantaged children attend "daycare" that is little more than babysitting for 10 to 12 hours a day. While well-meaning, these centers are not always safe, and learning often comes from television and worksheets. If this is all young at-risk children are exposed to in their first three to five years, they arrive at school already behind.
With childhood poverty in North Texas expected to double in the next 25 years, our community must step up now. We must teach early and teach well to give all children a strong start. One child, one teacher, one school at a time we are making a difference at Be the Seed of Change.
We envision a world where all early childhood programs are high quality. That all centers/schools/preschools have the same high quality standards so that ALL children are socially, emotionally and academically ready to have a successful life.
We envision early childhood professionals that educated the whole child. This includes education of parents, our community leaders and government on the importance of high quality early childcare education for our county! Staring in North Texas!
We are always looking for volunteers to help us fulfill out vision. Click here to be connected and start making a difference TODAY!