When it comes to raising children, of course, every parent wants what they think is best for their child. Not all parents share the same opinions as far as what they feel is best for their family. One area where there's not a lot of room for debate, however, is early childhood education.When Does Learning Start?
Traditionally, preschool was seen as the best time to introduce children to structured learning, but much has changed over the last decade to change that thinking. It's now known that the brain does the most growing during those first three years of life, making them the prime years to set a child up for success later in life.
Study after study has reinforced that belief. Simply put, children who get the attention they need during those first four years of life do better in school later on. They also have higher long-term earnings over the course of their entire life, as well as enjoying better social status and happier overall life.
Setting Children Up for Success
A 40-year study put the statistics in stark terms. Psychiatrists and experts in early childhood education studied the same group of children annually from ages three to eight, and then at ages 14, 15, 19, and 27. What they found was that the rate of return on investment in childhood education was more pronounced the younger the subject was. In fact, every tax dollar invested in early childhood education had a return of investment of nearly $16.
Further, of the test group that received high-quality early education, 65 percent went on to attend college, compared with only 45 percent of those that didn't. The statistics were most pronounced for females, with 84 percent of those in a high-quality ECE program attending college versus 32 percent.
Avoiding Negative Consequences
Just as early childhood education seems to set children up for good things later in life, it also protects against negative outcomes.
According to a 2003 Bureau of Justice study, 41 percent of people incarcerated in America have a high school degree or less. While the study did not draw a direct line between ECE and staying out of prison later in life, there's obviously a correlation to be made between ECE and success later in a child's academic career keeping them out of prison as adults.
Other studies have made it plaintively obvious that the section of young children that stand to benefit the most from early childhood education are the children of the poor. A 1995 study indicated that children from the poorest families had heard approximately 30 million fewer words than their more affluent counterparts under the age of three, resulting in a generational negative loop that was keeping not only them but their children from accomplishing as much.
Of course, the remedy to these issues is highly-trained, highly-educated childcare professionals working to help parents educate their young children. If early childhood education is a career that you've considered, the outcome of these numerous studies would indicate that ECE will be a rapidly developing field over the coming years.
To jumpstart your education and put you on the road to success, an early childhood education program from Athena Career Academy could be just what you are looking for. We'll give you the tools to educate, encourage, and inspire young people to set them up for success later in life. Contact us today for more information on all our career programs.