School Readiness/Early Learning Programs
Research has shown that early learning programs increase children’s chances of achieving future educational success and becoming productive members of society. These programs:
- are developmentally appropriate and research-based
- involve parents as their child’s first teacher
- serve as preventative measures for children at risk of future school failure
- enhance the educational readiness of children
- support family education
Community programs integrate a seamless system of services and link to all domains of child development – physical health, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development and communication skills.
For example, children ready to enter school are those who play well with others, pay attention and respond positively to teacher’s instructions, communicate well verbally, and are eager participants in classroom activities. They can recognize some letters of the alphabet and are familiar with print concepts (e.g. English print is read from left to right). Ready children can also identify simple shapes (e.g. squares, circles, and triangles).
A second, and equally important, component of early learning programs through the Coalition include financial assistance for child care for eligible low-income families who work that have children ages birth through 12 years. Parents are responsible for a co-payment based on a sliding fee scale based on their household income. Research has shown that parents whose children are in a stable, safe, quality early education environment miss fewer days of work and are more productive at work.