Florida is among 40 states that in the past 10 years have initiated state-funded preschool programs to provide early education for 4-year-olds.
The hope is that voluntary prekindergarten, or VPK, will improve school readiness by providing high-quality preschool.
It’s too little, too late, according to new research that says when it comes to preschool, the education is not early enough or good enough to prepare children for kindergarten. Young children who struggle in kindergarten fall behind and never catch up to their peers in school.
Research suggests that nurse-parent coaching about caring for babies and toddlers is actually more effective, but the social programs to provide those are still in their infancy, according a report in The Atlantic, “When It Comes to Early Learning, Preschool is not Enough.”
Despite the increase of state-funded preschool programs in the last decade, only 67 percent of children entering kindergarten in Escambia County are prepared for school, according to data provided by the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning. In Santa Rosa, 81 scored ready to begin school.
When you look closer at what early brain-development research is showing, 4 years old is almost too late for young children, especially those being raised by poor single moms.
Read The Atlantic report here.