Is Preschool Really Worth It? New Research Says Yes

With a new school year in full swing, parents of preschool-aged children may be asking themselves whether or attending preschool makes much a difference for young developing minds.

After all, the costs can sometimes be high. Also, the children going into these programs are usually so young, it’s not hard to see why some parents might feel their kid could gain the same benefits from day care or staying at home.

So, can attending preschool really make a difference in a child’s development?

The answer, according to a new study released in the journal of Child Development, is yes — if the program is a quality one.

The Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) is a longitudinal study spanning 10 years and tracking 466 low-income, racially and ethnically diverse 3- and 4-year-olds from preschool to the start of high school.

About half the participants attended Head Start programs where teachers received professional development and coaching focused on positive discipline strategies and providing help in managing their own stress in the classroom. The other half attended traditional Head Start programs.

The participants in those classrooms where teachers received additional training were still showing gains by as much as a quarter of a letter grade by the start high school.

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Medical marijuana, growth and crime: Chamber conference workshops hit home for attendees

"In this room, we can not forget that a third of our community is poor, suffering and struggling and have no idea what’s going on here because they have not really been included,” Lindley said.  

As concerns continue about ongoing challenges, some said a proposal to designate money toward children's needs could be a significant leap forward.

Last year, the community was divided on going full throttle ahead with a Children's Services Council in Leon County. If created, the council would oversee and allocate an additional $8 million in property taxes per year to address a bevy of issues impacting local children.

The Leon County Commission ultimately decided to press pause and bring the issue forward for the 2020 ballot. 

An independent planning committee has been meeting for months discussing the merits of creating one and what it might look like.

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When children go to school ready to learn, they’re ready to succeed, too | Opinion

Children in Miami-Dade County are heading back to school on Monday. More more than 23,000 of them are entering a kindergarten classroom for the first time. If statewide trends hold true, almost 11,000 of those children are not ready to be there.

When nearly 50 percent of children are already behind when they begin school, we are failing our society and asking miracles of our teachers.

For the past decade, The Children’s Movement of Florida has been focused on promoting school readiness because we know children need a strong start to thrive. In fact, research has shown that young children’s brains are built like a house: The neural connections that form in the first three years of life are the foundation of that house. If we wait until kindergarten to focus on learning, it’s like adding fine finishes on top of crumbling concrete.

Investing in kindergarten readiness is a down payment for our K-12 system and for the health and resilience of our communities. Twenty years on, we’ll get higher earners, more innovative employees and more thoughtful citizens.

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Rosen invests in preschool; wonders why Florida and other businesses don’t do more as well | Commentary

Rosen invests in preschool; wonders why Florida and other businesses don’t do more as well | Commentary

It’s a typically insufferable summer afternoon in Central Florida — the kind where the sun seems to bounce off the pavement twice as hot as it hit.

Still, the streets of Parramore are filled with families all trekking through the heat in the same direction — toward a school.

It’s a big school filled with tiny people in tiny gowns.

For it’s graduation day at the Rosen Preschool in Parramore, a school hotelier Harris Rosen funds far from his string of resorts along International Drive.

Rosen, who built the state’s largest independent hotel chain, is well known for providing college scholarships, including to all the high school grads from the working-class Tangelo Park neighborhood near his hotels.

What many people don’t know is that Rosen spends twice as much on preschool as college.

It's up to us to change our community for the better | Opinion

Leon County has a tremendous opportunity to rally together to support one of our most precious investments: our children.

We know that the first five years of a child’s life are the most critical. As board chair for Whole Child Leon, I am committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to thrive.

Yet my eyes have been pulled open to the inequities that exist in this community. Education gaps, poverty, heightened crime. They impact us all — and we can all do something about it.

With the talent, passion and power that exists in Leon County, we should be able to change the bleak circumstances for our most vulnerable. And let me be clear that we must do this, because if the outcomes of our most vulnerable do not change, then the outcomes for our entire community will remain the same. 

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