Recently, leaders in early childhood education research met to comb through decades worth of research about their area of study. Their final report, “The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects,” provides a comprehensive look at the current state of preschool education and what research says about what works and what doesn’t.
The report has one clear message: Children who attend public preschool are better prepared for kindergarten than their peers who don’t. NPR highlighted a few additional statistics:
- All children benefit from preschool, but those who have experienced “economic scarcity and insecurity” benefit most.
- Dual-language learners – most are low income, Spanish-speaking children – gain proficiency in their English-language learning, as well as other academic skills during preschool. The researchers say learning two languages at once creates stronger brain circuits, which can support self-regulation and increase a child’s capacity to incorporate new information.
- Diverse preschool classes have a positive effect on all children.
- Implementing an evidence-based early childhood curriculum and “quality and continuous training” for pre-K teachers are both factors of success.
Making Preschool Better
The researchers address two different approaches to preschool: teaching social emotional development or numeracy and literacy. Instead of choosing one, the researchers say both benefit the child’s readiness for school.
They also say preschools can do a better job of reaching out to low income families. Preschool helps children mitigate the effects adversity and poverty can have, so family outreach will help children in the long-term.
Helping Early Childhood Students with Special Needs
For early childhood programs struggling to hire and retain the speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, or psychologists needed to evaluate students and provide the necessary interventions, PresenceLearning’s network of highly qualified clinicians makes it possible for preschools to provide children with live, online services. To learn more about our early childhood services, click here.