Early education enrollment has been increasing consistently over the last two decades. Researchers are emphasizing the importance of early learning as we learn more about human development.
The human brain grows most during the first five years of life. A child experiences rapid cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and motor development during these years.
These years are a critical period for several significant skills and traits. If a child does not define a second language, musical abilities, physical sports capabilities, and memory formation during these years, they may find it difficult, or even impossible, to improve or gain mastery later in life.
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Early Education Enrollment Helps Students Succeed
The earlier a child is placed into an educational environment, the more successful they will become. They are more likely to graduate, go to college, gain a full-time job, and less likely to commit crimes.
This information has led researchers, educators, and politicians to call for an increased priority on early childhood education. Though the number of pre-k students has nearly doubled in the last two decades, the United States is still far behind nearly every other developed nation when it comes to enrollment.
The US has a Low Early Education Rate
In the United States, 67 percent of 3 to 5-year-olds are enrolled in a program. This is the lowest percentage out of all OECD countries besides Switzerland and Turkey. Most developed nations offer free early education enrollment to children the year before kindergarten, and some offer free early education for all ages.
If the US is going to catch up to other developed nations, it will take a serious collaboration between the government, educators, and especially parents.