EARLY EDUCATION

Early childhood, particularly the first 5 years of life, impacts long–term social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development.[6,7] Healthy development in early childhood helps prepare children for the educational experiences of kindergarten and beyond.[8]

Early childhood programs are a critical outlet for fostering the mental and physical development of young children.[7] The developmental and educational opportunities that children have access to in their early years have a lasting impact on their health as adults.[9,12 ,15] The Carolina Abecedarian Project found that the children in the study who participated in a high–quality and comprehensive early childhood education program, including health care and nutritional components, were in better health than those who did not.[12] The study found that, at age 21, the people who participated in the comprehensive early education program exhibited fewer risky health behaviors—for example, they were less likely to binge drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and use illegal drugs.[12] This group also self–reported better health and had a lower number of deaths.[12] These studies show that quality early childhood development and education programs can play a key role in reducing risky health behaviors and preventing or delaying the onset of chronic disease in adulthood.[9,12]

 

Early childhood development and education are key determinants of future health and well–being.[10,13] Addressing the disparities in access to early childhood development and education opportunities can greatly bolster young children’s future health outcomes.[5,10,11,12 ,14-22]

INCOME ELIGIBLE CHILDREN NOT SERVED BY NC Pre-K IN 2017-2018

Over 75% Served

Less Than 75% Served

25-50% Unserved

52-75% Unserved

Over 75% Unserved

Source: NIEER, Barriers to Expansion of NC PreK 2018 Report

CHILDREN HELD BACK IN KINDERGARTEN

Source: North Carolina Early Care and Education Data Repository

CHILDREN HELD BACK IN FIRST GRADE

Source: North Carolina Early Care and Education Data Repository

CHILDREN HELD BACK IN KINDERGARTEN (REGIONAL COMPARISON)

Source: North Carolina Early Care and Education Data Repository

CHILDREN HELD BACK IN FIRST GRADE (REGIONAL COMPARISON)

Source: North Carolina Early Care and Education Data Repository