One of the smartest investments we can make is in the early childhood education system. Early interventions in the life of a child before kindergarten can have huge payoffs in helping children succeed in school.
Without a quality preschool experience, many of our children growing up in poverty start kindergarten behind.
For this reason, we are concentrating our early efforts this year on connecting local early childhood providers around our kindergarten readiness goal.
Kindergarten Readiness Goal: Students will be prepared for kindergarten
To measure our success toward this goal, we are looking at two data indicators:
- Percent of children ages birth to 5 enrolled in high quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs
- Percent of families participating in Kindergarten Transition Activities
As we brought these partners to the table, we quickly realized that we had the right people and programs already in our area. We just needed to align our efforts around the shared goal and break out of our silos to work together.
Our first task this spring is get an accurate picture of how many children in our area attend a high quality early childhood program. This will give us an idea of the need for preschool spots in our area.
Second, we are brainstorming ways that we can help facilitate Kindergarten Transition Activities for this fall’s kindergarten class. We are working with area PreK programs and Head Start to provide a bridge into our neighborhood elementary schools.
Our desire is to find early wins that show the importance of providing smooth transitions into kindergarten.
Then we will continue the hard work of finding more preschool spots for children growing up in our area.