Educational Impact of High-Quality Pre-Kindergarten Program

 

“High‐quality early childhood education equips children with the cognitive skills required for success in elementary school and beyond” (Weiland & Yoshikawa).   A recent study on the impacts and effects of prekindergarten was conducted by the Institute of Education Sciences and surveyed prekindergarten programs in the Boston, Massachusetts.  The findings of this study were that it appears that high-quality prekindergarten programs have “positive, small‐to‐large effects on children’s cognitive development” (Weiland & Yoshikawa).

In addition, a secondary study of the effects of prekindergarten conducted by the Russell Sage Foundation’s Social Inequality programs also showed significant benefits for children who attended a high-quality prekindergarten program. This study also showed that prekindergarten was most effective for disadvantaged children. “These results suggest that the greatest potential return to public investments in early education may be obtained by increasing disadvantaged children’s enrollment in prekindergarten” (Magnusen  et al.).

Benefits of a high-quality prekindergarten program included higher academic scores in elementary school in the areas of literacy, language, mathematics, in addition, prekindergarten graduates had a much higher level of emotional development.  The Russell Sage Study findings stated that the quality of prekindergarten curriculum and support for staff were factors in the outcomes for children.  The combination of evidence‐based curricula and coaching supports implemented had brought about educationally and statistically significant improvements in multiple domains of school readiness. (Magnusen  et al.).

A Duke study stated, “Findings in developmental science point toward the importance of early-life experiences in shaping brain development” (Dodge 2017).  The Duke study had the same findings as prior studies which reported;

“Pre-k programs are not all equally effective. Several effectiveness factors may be at work in the most successful programs. One such factor supporting early learning is a well implemented, evidence-based curriculum. Coaching for teachers, as well as efforts to promote orderly but active classrooms, may also be helpful.”

Dodge, K. (2017, April 17). Pre-Kindergarten Effects – What the Science Says.

 

The past and current research show that yes; a high-quality prekindergarten program has a lasting effect on school readiness and future school success. However, high-quality is the key ingredient for a successful prekindergarten experience.  Programs which are based in research-based early education curriculum, have quality and qualified teachers, and ongoing coaching and support for teachers and support staff, are by far the most beneficial for young children.

When it comes to choosing a prekindergarten program for your child families should look for the hallmarks of a high-quality program.  As effective and beneficial a high-quality prekindergarten can be, it can also be a devastating experience if the program is not quality or effective.  When deciding on a prekindergarten program for your child, please be sure to educate yourself and make an informed decision about the program.

“There has been a surprising shift in the overall understanding of the benefits of pre-kindergarten in a child’s life. Beyond test scores and reading levels comes proof that a pre-k program can impact children in teen and adult years, long after school. Things like improved family formation, increased number of job hours worked, avoidance of criminal behavior and reliance on social support, even proof of increased earnings and better health; these things all stem from enrollment in pre-kindergarten”

Pre-K Matters. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.urbanchildinstitute.org/

 

      At Raising Arizona Preschool, we strive for high-quality.  We have developmentally appropriate academic and social-emotional play-based curriculum, trained and experienced staff, and highly experienced and credentialed administrative staff.  In addition, Raising Arizona Preschool has coaching resources for our teachers, behavioral coaching for staff and children, and ongoing technical support through Quality First of Arizona.   We also have an ASU PBS Certified Professional Development Trainer on staff to assist our teachers with training, development, and curriculum needs.  Raising Arizona Preschool fosters a culture of mindfulness for children and staff.   Our teachers engage in mindfulness development and teach children mindfulness skills that encourage developing focus and concentration, which is a needed skill for all learners.    Raising Arizona Preschool in Glendale, Arizona is a high-quality Prekindergarten program which enriches the lives of children and families and fosters lifelong learning success.

 

 

 

References

Dodge, K. (2017, April 17). Pre-Kindergarten Effects – What the Science Says.

Retrieved from      https://sanford.duke.edu/articles/pre-kindergarten-effects-–-what-science-says

Magnuson, K. A., Ruhm, C., & Waldfogel, J. (2007). Does prekindergarten improve school preparation

and performance? Economics of Education Review, 26(1), 33-5doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2005.09.008

Pre-K Matters. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.urbanchildinstitute.org/

Weiland, C., & Yoshikawa, H. (2013). Impacts of a prekindergarten program on children’s mathematics,

language, literacy, executive function, and emotional skills. Child Development, 84(6), 2112-2130.    doi:10.1111/cdev.12099

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