Before we can understand the importance of early childhood education, we should be on the same page about what age early childhood education refers to. Typically, early childhood education encompasses any education a child receives up until the age of eight, or around third grade.
During these initial years of life, children’s brains are growing and learning at a rapid rate, and learning typically comes very easy to them. The purpose of education at this stage is to build a solid foundation for children to build upon for the rest of their lives.
When looking at pre-school, one of the earliest educational opportunities, a meta-analysis of studies on the benefits of early childhood education found that “7 8 of every 10 preschool children did better than the average child in a control or comparison group” when looking at standard measures of intelligence and academic achievement. This makes sense, given that education in those early years sets children up for success.
Another study followed a group of students who were given early high-quality education and compared them to a control group. Years later, the students who were given a high quality education performed better than the other students in many areas, both academically and socially. These students:
Scored higher on standardized testing
*Had higher attendance rates
*Had fewer discipline referrals
*Were rated higher by their teachers in terms of behaviors, social interactions, and emotional maturity.