Preparing children for Kindergarten is more than 2+2…

There is nothing like seeing the look on a child’s face when a lightbulb goes off, and she realizes that 2+2 REALLY DOES equal 4.

It is always a challenge for parents to not only get their child ready for the cognitive portion of the classroom but also the social and emotional challenges that come with the environmental change of a new school.  But, watching a child succeed in the classroom is one of the most rewarding things to witness.

Child Trends is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to improve outcomes for children by providing research, data, and analysis to the people and institutions whose decisions and actions affect children.”  A study was done in 2003 that focused on the children in kindergarten and whether or not they lagged behind the average student in the following three areas: health, cognitive skills, and social and emotional skills.  There were trending factors in what made children lag behind in one, two, or all three of these areas.

This report gives an insight into what ENVIRONMENTAL factors might come into play and prevent a child from being on par with his/her peers.  The results showed the following:

  1. 63% of all children who lagged behind in all three areas had parents with a relatively low education (a high school diploma, GED, or less).
  2. 55% of all children who lagged behind in all three areas lived in households with an income less than $25,000.
  3. 33% of all children who lagged behind in all three areas lived in a single parent household.

Healthy Familes America targets these types of families and offers them support in the form of links to community resources and education materials to help with child development.  A case worker sticks with each participating family until the child reaches age 5.  You can help HealthNet’s Healthy Families program by learning more here or donating directly by clicking here.

Check out the full research publication from Child Trends here []

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