Kids MD - Importance of Pre-School - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/22/04

Kids MD - Importance of Pre-School

By Robert Seith
CWK Network Senior Producer


The gaps we're filling when these children come to us and the progress that they make from entry point to when they leave us is just staggering.”
- Elaine Draeger, Early Education Specialist with Sheltering Arms Early Education Centers. -

4-year-old Alejandra Iglesias started pre-school a year ago.

And since then, her mom has noticed a big difference.

“She say hi to a lot of people when they say hi to her. She's less shy,” explains her mother, Erika, “And she wants to learn. Everything.”

According to a new study… the effect of pre-school is profound.

A University of Wisconsin researcher followed 15-hundred at-risk children: Some got quality pre-school care, some didn't.

Those who did were 70 percent more likely to graduate from high school on time, and 70 percent less likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18.

It seems the pre-school years can affect a child's life forever.

“Children who have their needs met, whether they be socially or developmentally or even health care needs met, are going to be happier children,” says Draeger.

And experts say the pre-school years are crucial because 90 percent of a child's brain development happens by age 3, and their fundamental personality is set by age 5.

“The best thing for parents to understand is the importance of these first five years. And unfortunately many of us think education and what's important for children doesn't start until kindergarten. And what the research is telling us is; that's not the case,” says Draeger.

Erika says pre-school has changed her daughter… that's why she's trying to convince a close friend to bring her child here too.

“Bring her to school. She's going to learn a lot and she's going to be with a lot of friends and it's her own age and she'll be ready for school,” she says.

 


Published by CWK Network, Inc.
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