Report: First 8 Years are Critical for Hoosier Kids’ Success

November 10, 2013
By

A new study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation makes the case for investing in a child’s early years to increase chances for a successful life. PHOTO:  Microsoft images

A new study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation makes the case for investing in a child’s early years to increase chances for a successful life. PHOTO: Microsoft images

Indianapolis- A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds half of Hoosier kids eight years and under are living in poverty. It says living in poverty presents dramatic challenges for kids to develop appropriate skills for success.

Dianna Wallace, the executive director of the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children, admits that Indiana has a lot of room for improvement, but she says the state is starting to pay attention to the needs of young children. She pointed out that Indiana’s new Early Learning Advisory Committee held its first meeting last month.

“The Early Learning Advisory Committee was formed to take a look at and do exactly what the report said: to focus on the integrated, comprehensive system of services that meets the needs of children from birth to age eight.”

The report indicates most young children across the nation are not on track cognitively and lag in social and emotional growth. It concludes that low-income parents need more help to make sure their kids are able to have access to quality services and education.

Wallace said Indiana needs to be proactive, not only for the sake of the kids, but for the future of the state.

“We know that investing the first eight years is critical for children to succeed both in school and later on in life, and the longer we in Indiana wait to support young children and their families the more costly and difficult it becomes to make up for those early setbacks.”

Wallace noted that there are signs of progress – such as the Legislature’s approval of all-day kindergarten – although not all schools have adopted it yet.

“Now we’re not there, but we really made tremendous strides,” she said. “And so two years ago we actually supported full-day kindergarten funding in the school funding formula. And so we’ve got to now make sure that that’s available in all the school corporations across the state.”

The report says that in 2009, 69 to 78 percent of low-income Hoosier three- and four-year-olds were not attending a preschool program. It says attending high-quality preschool can significantly contribute to the development of young children,especially those who are in low-income families.

 

Listen Live

Upcoming Events

Aug
21
Thu
8:00 am National Tooth Fairy Day @ Children's Dental Care
National Tooth Fairy Day @ Children's Dental Care
Aug 21 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Open to the public. Come join the fun & excitement! The tooth fairy will be visiting our office sharing dental education, story & letter readings, games, & prizes! The tooth fairy will be sharing important information such as dental education and what to expect during the time of tooth loss.  She willbe reading letters from some of the children she has collected over the years during her visits to homes that explain tooth loss before and after the tooth fairy visits. This may help to relieve the anxiety your child may be feeling! There will also be games and prizes! Have your child’s photo taken with the TOOTH FAIRY! Don’t let this opportunity pass by your children. Hope to see you there!
10:45 am Adult Basic Education (for the H...
Adult Basic Education (for the H...
Aug 21 @ 10:45 am – 11:45 am
Brookville: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-2pm at the Government Center Room 102 and 5pm-9pm Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Education Education Center (Above Dr. Bentz Dental Office across from Mainsource Bank)   Laurel Library: Mondays and Wednesdays 11am – 2pm   Call or text for details 765-309-2001

View Calendar