Building the Foundation for a Lifetime of Learning
Children born in high-risk environments (defined by low income, young parental age, single parents and low maternal education) face significant barriers to healthy development and learning. Research shows that children from high-risk environments on average test at a 3-year-old level upon entering kindergarten.
If these deficits are not addressed, the majority of these children will face a lifetime of obstacles that can be directly correlated to poor school performance.
Children are born with the same potential to become successful learners. Until about 12 months of age, nearly all healthy children will test at the same developmental levels regardless of environment. Beginning at 1 year of age, however, significant deficits begin to show in children from high-risk environments. Improving K-12 academic performance begins in the first 5 years of life. Children who have access to high-quality early childhood education are academically and socially more successful in school.
Research indicates that the most cost-effective and successful way to close this achievement gap is through early intervention childhood education. Quality early childhood education investments translate to a difference in 18 IQ points by age 5 for high-risk children, putting these children on par with their peers.
While research shows that children will benefit from long-term educational and psychosocial improvements, Children’s Home & Aid’s Early Childhood Care & Education centers are measuring concrete impact today. For instance, in a recent survey, 100% of parents reported that one of the centers helped them to maintain their employment and 94% of the parents felt that their children were more prepared for kindergarten as a result of the program.
Why Early Childhood Education Matters: Other Resources
- Early Childhood Care + Education: Program At-a-Glance
- “Early childhood programs pay dividends for life” Prof. James J. Heckman, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics
- How investments in early child care and education strengthens the Illinois economy
- High-Quality Early Education & Other School Reforms Cannot Wait
Our Story and a Focus on Early Childhood Care and Education
Join Allison Rosati, NBC 5 Chicago co-anchor, as she narrates the story of Children’s Home & Aid today, with a focus on early childhood care and education.