Why Kindergarten Readiness Matters
August 7, 2021
Kindergarten is a formative learning year. It’s when children learn the skills that will help them adapt and succeed in later years of school. If more kids have the skills and abilities they need to be successful in school when they start kindergarten, they will have a greater opportunity to achieve success in high school and beyond.
On the first day of kindergarten, not all kids are starting with the same abilities. We know that children who start behind, stay behind. Kindergarten readiness is a process that begins before birth and must be continually developed during the early years of a child’s life. Children learn best in loving, nurturing environments and through everyday experiences. These connections prepare them for future learning, especially in the early years. Pocono Mountains United Way works with families, early childhood educators and childcare providers to help all kids entering kindergarten start from the same spot. Through programs like developmental vision and hearing screenings, SMILE in-home mentoring and the Getting Ready for Kindergarten Calendar, we’re making it possible for all kindergartners to develop the skills and abilities they need in school.
All kids are different. While some differentiation in capabilities is normal, there are certain literacy, numeracy, social-emotional, physical and linguistic skills and abilities that all kids need to be active participants in kindergarten. Making sure all kids have these baseline skills on day one is about equity. Childcare and housing are the greatest expenses for many Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) families in PA. Of the over 2,300 children who are eligible for Pre- K in Monroe County, 77% of them do not have access to high quality funded Pre-K programs. We advocate at the local and state levels for opportunities for all young children in Monroe County to develop the skills and abilities they need to thrive in school.
All kids should have the same opportunity to learn and be ready for Kindergarten, regardless of zip code, race or income. With your help, we can make that happen. Give all kindergarteners the start they deserve, one that’s the same as their peers. Support from generous community members like you helps sustain these programs. For information about getting your business to support education through the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) and Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) programs please contact Roxanne@PoconoUnitedWay.org. To invest in early learning in our community, give today at poconounitedway.org/make-donation and type “Education” in the special instructions box.