As we approach the beginning of the school year, it’s important to take into account why it’s so crucial for children to be ready for Kindergarten. Brian Cox, from United Way Worldwide explains more:
“The academic success of children in later years depends heavily upon their kindergarten readiness. The first few years of education and preparedness are the most crucial to establishing a solid foundation from which children can adapt to school systems and learn successfully. During this period, children develop primary skills that form the foundations of reading, counting, and social interaction.
The levels of preparedness with which a child enters kindergarten are academic and emotional, and they rely most heavily on being prepared at home. It is vital to nurture related skills in children, including the ability to focus, think logically, recognize important words, demonstrate some self control, and speak clearly. To help children who are entering their first years of school, it is essential to ensure that adequate support and educational stimulation are provided at home. Programs can be implemented to help parents with this, teaching them efficient ways to incorporate and encourage basic learning skills into daily routines, games, and quality time together.
United Way operates successful early learning programs, like Success by 6, to encourage parents and educators to participate fully and in positive ways during a child’s earliest learning stages. By raising awareness, providing educational material, and engaging in direct action with grassroots organizations, these initiatives help children develop the required kindergarten readiness, and prepare parents for this important period of development.
Along with reading, writing, and counting, programs that encourage kindergarten readiness also focus on social development. Children entering their first years of regular schooling have to be prepared to interact with other children, control themselves, and cooperate with their peers. Skills like these cannot be learned until children take their first steps into kindergarten. Programs provide children with opportunities to play and learn with other kids outside of a school environment.
While it’s easy to assume that every child is ready for kindergarten when they reach a certain age, there are important factors to consider, such as their academic ability and emotional maturity. Kindergarten readiness can be nurtured in every child through positive interaction with parents and other children. With the understanding that the earliest years of childhood education are critical in establishing later success, United Way is dedicated to partnering with positive community initiatives” (United Way).