Early childhood education (ECE) has been a hot topic for a long time. Unfortunately, studies have revealed that there are learning disparities between children who received and those who did not receive early childhood education.
Due to the increasing number of discussions about the importance of early childhood education, policymakers and parents have become more involved in the debate. According to studies, investing in early childhood education can improve a child’s cognitive abilities and boost their self-esteem.
Despite the widespread support for early childhood education, there are still skeptics who doubt its effectiveness. There are also plenty of opportunities for confusion due to conflicting research findings.
Read on to get a better understanding of why early childhood education is so important.
The Vocabulary Gap
A study conducted in 1995 revealed that children from the most impoverished families start school with a lower vocabulary than those from more affluent households. This finding reinforced the importance of early childhood education.
The study revealed that the language deficits were caused by the parents’ interactions with their children. This could affect their academic performance later in life.
Early childhood education is known to play a significant role in developing a child’s cognitive development. It can help boost a child’s ability to think critically and solve problems. ECE professionals can also introduce new words and reinforce existing ones to help build a child’s vocabulary.
The “School-to-Prison” Problem
As the dropout rate increases among high school students, the idea of the school-to-prison pipeline seems to catch the attention of policymakers. In 2003, a report revealed that only 41 percent of incarcerated individuals have a high school diploma.
A study revealed that missing school due to disciplinary actions can have an immediate effect on a student’s relationship with the law. It can also increase their risk of being sent to juvenile justice facilities.
The economic impact of being incarcerated is also significant. According to a 2017 report, each federal prisoner costs the government about $35,000 annually.
Studies have shown that investing in early childhood education can reduce the number of people who end up in prison later in life. It can also help improve the communities in which they live.
There Are Economic Benefits
A stronger focus on early childhood education can have a positive impact on the economy due to educational programs also acting as high-quality childcare. This high-quality childcare allows parents to rejoin the workforce faster than they might have otherwise. It also means that parents can spend their time at work focusing on work, and not having to worry about their child. Being more involved in the workplace can help boost the country’s economic health. It can help reduce the number of people who are unemployed and increase the diversity in the workforce as well.
The factors that affect the local and national economies can vary depending on the situation. For instance, rising childcare costs can have a significant impact on the employment of mothers. It can also leave them scrambling to find other options. A 2018 study revealed that the rising costs of childcare had a 13 percent negative impact on the employment of mothers.
Expanding pre-K coverage can help alleviate some of the economic effects of rising childcare costs. For instance, a 2009 program in Washington, D.C. resulted in a 10 percent increase in the number of mothers joining the workforce.