The earlier children have access to educational opportunities, the better their health outcomes are likely to be. That’s because early developmental opportunities provide a foundation for children’s academic success, health and general well-being.
- Preschool-aged children experience profound biological brain development, achieving 90% of their adult brain volume by age six, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Things like how you get along with others, how you think and feel, and how strong you are begin to develop in the first five years of life.
- Children who are not exposed to high quality early learning do not have the same opportunity to develop their brains.
It is critical to provide children with the right foundation at an early age, and a key part of that foundation is early childhood education. Early childhood education helps children develop functional skills related to information processing, comprehension, language, emotional regulation and motor skills. Additionally, it sets the stage for future education and academic success.
On My Way Pre-K: A good option for those who need it most
Children who come from low-income families often face many barriers, including access to high quality early learning, as well as limited financial and health resources. All of this can put them at risk for educational readiness and poorer health outcomes.
FSSA is working to improve access to early childhood development and education with its On My Way Pre-K. This program provides grants to low-income families, so 4-year old children may attend a high-quality pre-K program before they begin kindergarten.
“On My Way Pre-K provides an opportunity for all children to receive high quality early learning in order to prepare them for success in their K-12 academic journey. While pre-K is important for all children, we know that it is particularly important for children that live in low-income households,” said Nicole Norvell, Director, Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning.
“Attending an On My Way Pre-K program gives kids an opportunity to gain social skills and build cognitive development, provides them with an equal opportunity to achieve readiness for kindergarten, and helps prepare them for lifelong success.”
The tie between education and health is undeniable. The education we receive from the time we are small children through adulthood plays a significant role in our ability to live a healthy life. Education has become one of the clearest indicators of life outcomes. That’s because it is the foundation for a range of skills, such as self-sufficiency, problem-solving and personal control. It’s no surprise that studies have shown that the more education we have, the more likely we are to have better health outcomes—and even live longer.