Research indicates that children 0-5 years of age undergo a tremendous amount of brain development preparing them for the process of formalized learning. This means that the environments children are in prior to entering kindergarten are extremely important. To develop brain connections, language development, memory, problem solving skills, etc., young children must be given every opportunity to access quality early learning programs. In Idaho there are no state funded early learning facilities, requiring families to rely on privately owned businesses which tend to be limited in number and high in cost, limiting access for large swaths of the population. Residents living in rural areas, low-income families, and households where English is not the primary language, face additional barriers to accessing quality early learning programs.
Increasing availability, accessibility, and affordability of high-quality learning environments is a key strategy for our imPACT East Idaho work. Our Early Learning Collaboratives focus on the first half of the Cradle to Career Continuum, including the following milestones:
Healthy Starts and Kindergarten Readiness:
Kindergarten readiness is closely linked to future academic achievement and life success.
Early Grade Reading
Literacy is critical to a child’s academic success, particularly third grade reading benchmarks. Reading at grade level by third grade is one of the largest predictors of long-term success. Children at or above grade level reading by third grade graduate from high school and pursue postsecondary education at higher rates than peers who did not meet third grade reading benchmarks.