Today we know more than ever about how young children develop and how important it is to support their learning from an early age. Brain research says that the first five years of life are critical and set the stage for the way a child learns, uses language, solves problems and processes emotions.
What studies are showing is that too many kids—mostly from vulnerable, low-income families—aren’t getting their cognitive needs, much less their emotional ones, met at this early age. As a result, they are showing up to kindergarten behind the curve.
Fast-forward a few years: It’s harder than ever to catch up. Many never do.
In the preconference session at the 2011 Family Philanthropy Conference last weekend, designed and led by Susan Price of the National Center for Family Philanthropy, 70 family foundation peers gathered to share strategies on the education, care, and literacy of children in their early years.
Many of these foundations a similar goal: to meet the needs of their community’s youngest children in order to get them reading—and learning—by the end of third grade.
Why is it so important for kids to read by third grade? Find out more by reading my full post here at the Council on Foundation’s blog: http://t.co/WpiRrDg
Or read the full essay I wrote for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, titled Ready to Learn: Family Philanthropy Supports Early Learning and Literacy.
If you have good examples of early education and child care in your community, let’s hear about it.