Children who attend high-quality pre-kindergarten programs are more likely to graduate from high school, says a new report that calls on states and communities to build an aligned system to support early childhood learning and kindergarten programs.
The report from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), called “Building and Supporting an Aligned System: A Vision for Transforming Education across the Pre-K-Grade Three Years,” claims that “high-quality early learning can substantially increase the likelihood of academic success.”
“I certainly see this report to be a really strong signal to the K-12 world, as much as the early childhood [learning] world, that there is room for everybody at the table, and in fact, we need everybody at the table to make sure that young children are going to get what they need,” said Lisa Guernsey, director of the Early Education Initiative.
The report addresses the need for kindergarten programs to be included in national standards, noting that “the availability of kindergarten is highly variable, with unstable funding in many districts and parents paying for full-day programs.”
“Full-day kindergarten is still a luxury for many parents; they’re actually having to pay out of pocket for their children to have a full-day kindergarten experience,” Guernsey said.
NAESP recommends 10 action steps for policy makers to improve fragmented early childhood learning: