Top Five Benefits of
Early Childhood Education
Children’s brains develop faster from birth to age 5 than any other time in their lives. In fact, 90% of brain development occurs before a child enters kindergarten.
It’s important for parents to take advantage of these early childhood years by encouraging as much development as possible. One effective way to do this is by enrolling your child in an early childhood education program.
Early childhood education programs understand how to take advantage of these crucial first years. Program educators are trained to nurture the social, developmental and cognitive needs of children under 5. In this article, we break down the benefits of early childhood education on children and society as a whole.
1) Early Childhood Education Improves Social Skills
Early childhood education programs help children develop social skills. Rather than being at home all day, children are exposed to other kids and adults outside of their families.
In an early childhood education setting, children learn valuable interpersonal skills such as listening, sharing and expressing emotions. Establishing these skills early can help set children up for healthier social lives in future years.
2) Early Childhood Education is Linked to Greater Success in Life
Children who take part in an early childhood education program are more likely to be successful as teenagers and adults. Children who receive early childhood education are 25% more likely to graduate high school and four times more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree.
They’re also less likely to face academic problems, including repeating grades. Once these children do graduate, they tend to earn more in the workforce.
The link between early childhood education and future success was illustrated by a study called the Abecedarian Early Intervention Project. This study monitored children in two groups for more than 35 years: one that experienced early childhood education and one that did not. The children in the group that received early childhood education were more successful academically and financially. They also had better mental and physical health overall.
3. Early Childhood Education Gives Parents Freedom to Study and Work
One major benefit of early childhood education is the freedom it gives parents. Without childcare, it’s extremely difficult for parents to secure full-time work or attend school. But with early childhood education, parents are able to take back some time for themselves.
Early childhood education programs give parents a safe and secure place to leave their kids during the day. The positive impact of early childhood education on families can be seen by looking at the way Washington D.C. handles early learning.
In 2009, Washington D.C. began rolling out its universal preschool program. Today, three-quarters of preschool-aged kids are enrolled in the district. Once they introduced free preschool, labor force participation for women with young children increased nearly 10%. The impact for low-income mothers was even higher, at 15%.
While Indiana doesn’t have the same universal preschool program, there are many early childhood education programs to choose from. There are also funds available to help make early childhood education accessible to all families.
4. Early Childhood Education Offers Screenings for Health and Behavioral Issues
As children grow up, there are a number of developmental milestones they should achieve. It can be difficult for busy parents to monitor these milestones. That’s where early childhood educators come in.
Early childhood educators are knowledgeable about the developmental milestones for children of all ages, and they’re trained to look for indicators that milestones aren’t being met. They’re also trained to formally screen for these milestones. When you enroll your child in an early childhood education program, you’re leaving them with professionals who perform these screenings and report the results back to you.
5. Early Childhood Education Positively Impacts Society
Early childhood education has multi-generational impacts. The children who receive early childhood care are more likely to grow up and contribute positively to their communities and workplaces.
Meanwhile, when children are taken care of, parents have the freedom to work and advance in their own careers. Lost earnings due to poor or non-existent child care totals $57 billion per year. By giving parents care options, early childhood education has a significant positive impact on the economy.
In fact, every dollar invested in early childhood programs yields a$6.30 return on investment, as both the children in these programs and their parents grow to become more financially independent and less likely to need government assistance.
Experience the Benefits of Early Childhood Education in Indiana
At Brighter Futures Indiana, we’re passionate about connecting families to the best child care options for their unique needs. We believe early childhood education has the power to transform a child’s future.
Do you need help finding the best early education options for your child? Let us help guide you to the right program for your family.