Not ready for kindergarten? The first domino falls.
As a wealth of data strongly indicates and studies old and new robustly confirm, the first eight years of life are critical to the development of a child’s ability to learn and succeed. High-quality early education for all children is an essential equalizer and a key for later success in school and in life.
- 90% of a child’s brain is developed before the age of five
- Early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed
- Investments in early education provide positive returns throughout life
When you start kindergarten and you’re already behind the other children, the first domino falls, and a lifetime trajectory is set in motion. Without intervention, the dominoes continue to fall, and a path filled with struggle and underperformance becomes more and more difficult to avoid.
Here are some facts that underscore the urgency of establishing access to a high-quality continuum of learning for all children for the first eight years of life:
- 42% of Virginia’s children aren’t ready for kindergarten
- Learning, math and reading gaps are widening
- More 2nd graders are now below the reading benchmark
- More children are now at risk of reading and math failure
- 3rd graders not reading on grade level are 4x more likely to drop out of school
It should come as no surprise that when kids start behind, they often struggle to catch up. The achievement and opportunity gaps begin early and persist for decades. Learning builds from year to year. Children in third grade are learning to read; after third grade they are reading to learn – which is why a solid foundation is so important. Every child deserves access to a high-quality early education. When our children fail, we all pay the price.
Let’s stop the dominoes from falling. It’s not a game. It’s our children’s future. Act now.