Start Behind, Stay Behind
“1 in 3 children enter kindergarten behind,” said Kim Davenport, mom and Chief Program Officer at Jumpstart, a national early childhood education program. She added that kindergarten teachers can predict with 90% which students will graduate and which will not.
The statement has huge implications. If a child is not ready to learn in kindergarten and a teacher can predict that he or she will not graduate it means that if a child starts from behind, they mostly stay behind.
Did you know that?
According to the Jumpstart website, “Princeton economist Cecelia Rouse estimates that every high school dropout costs the nation $260,000 over the course of his or her lifetime.”
Why don’t we just spend money on good quality Early Childhood Education?
Jumpstart Working To Help
Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained more than 20,000 college students and community volunteers to deliver its program to more than 90,000 preschool children nationwide.” – Jumpstart website
“3,450 college students and community volunteers work with 9,000 preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Jumpstart works across the country at more than 250 early learning centers and 62 universities and colleges in 15 states and the District of Columbia.”
At Mom Congress, Davenport reminded us that birth to age 8 is considered early childhood, but we always focus on 0 through 3. “Brain science tells us why we should start early. It’s in the public interest but we spend the least when children’s brain are developing the most.”
High-quality matters the most. James Heckman, University of Chicago Nobel Laureate Economist, reported in a cost-benefit study that “investments in high quality Early Childhood Education programs consistently and conservatively generate benefit-cost ratios exceeding 3-to-1 or more than $3 return for every $1 invested.” See the report summary here.
A child’s zip code should not determine the quality of education the child receives, said Davenport.
- Focus on literacy and social emotional development.
- Focus on access to books and adult engagement.
- Recruit and train college students to implement our research based curriculum.
- Leveraging service like with the Americorp funded program.
- Read for the Record event.
Parents Can Help
Be heard. Call, email, visit district offices of your Congress people.
Try Jumpstart’s Playdate with a Purpose where you uses children’s books to engage children in learning. Or, if your children are older, suggest this idea to your friends who have young children. Once you register on Jumpstart’s website, you’ll have access to book-themed activities, snack suggestions, a book extension activity, and charitable activity to encourage giving back.