Your stories: Educators tell how students benefit from early childhood education


by Brian Washington/ Photo courtesy of University of Fraser Valley

Studies show what educators have known all along–the benefits of a high-quality early childhood education program are quite clear. Students who attend a quality preschool do better on cognitive tests in elementary and secondary school and are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, become employed, be in good health, and avoid crime.

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As a former early childhood educator, I can attest to the fact that children who enter kindergarten without a preschool experience are at a distinct disadvantage as compared to their peers who did benefit from a preschool experience. –Karen Zycynski, Michigan

Education Votes needs to hear from you! Tell us your story regarding early childhood education. Here’s what we are looking for:

  • Stories from educators participating in state-funded prekindergarten, Head Start, and Early Head Start programs about a child (or an entire class) they taught that benefited from being in a high-quality early learning program.
  • Stories from early care providers about the positive impact that high-quality care has on a child’s development.
  • Stories from elementary school educators who have seen how high-quality early learning has prepared students for success.
  • Stories from parents who have seen their children develop critical skills by being in a high-quality early learning environment.
  • Stories from business and community leaders who understand that high-quality early childhood programs yield a positive long term economic impact.

Please tell us your story now. Your story will help convince lawmakers in Washington, D.C. that investing in early education is key to helping prepare children to succeed in school and in life.


Submission of your entry constitutes permission for NEA to use your name, story, and other submitted information in connection with legislative efforts to ensure quality early education programs for all children. We may, for example, provide compilations of your comments to national leaders and other individuals participating in our efforts, without disclosing email addresses. We may also make comments along with your city and state available to the press and public online.  In addition, by clicking submit, you are expressing your consent for your comments or stories to be used in any future NEA publications. Education Votes will send you updates on this and other important campaigns by email. If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from our email list, you may do so.

Reader Comments

  1. My mother taught me to read by the time I was 3, and when I was 7 I read Robinson Crusoe. Then I found out that nobody else had even heard of it. Knowledge is so important that although she’s been gone for 26 years I still thank mom every day.

  2. There was no ‘early childhood’ public education, so I sent my daughters to a Montessori school for this. When they entered public school, they were so far ahead of the other students, I was told to bring my first daughter into Afternoon kindergarten so she could spend the day with the first graders. (No, they would not put her IN first grade. Here, child must be 5 by September- Her birthdate of October, put her in Kindergarten, so she was a year older than other kindergarteners. By 1st grade, she spent her day outside of play and lunch time with 2nd grade classes. This continued each grade, until she reached 6th grade, when all her friends for 6th grade the year before she had spend 80% of her days with had all gone on to Jr. High. Of course, she was totally blindsided by this and unhappy. She had to, in essence, repeat the 6th grade, which was totally DUMB. I younger daughter, being one year behind her sister, was put into special classes all the way as well, her birthday also being in October.

  3. I taught early childhood education to 4’s and 5’s for many years in the inner city, surburban, and rural areas who benefited from Pre-K
    experiences if nothing more than increased social skills, readiness for a structured academic setting, and increased excitement about learning.It is a valuable and positive experience for any child.Just
    because a child comes from a home that is advantaged doesn’t mean
    their caregivers will be willing and able to provide the positive
    learning experiences that they would get in pre-school. Children
    often behave differently in a group situation than they do at home. Professionals often spot problems that parents don’t recognize and
    can start the process of identifying and treating problems early.

    1. Our home was fairly advantageous, but my first daughter was ready to LEARN. She drove me nuts keeping her occupied with things that would challenge her by 3 years old. That was the reason I placed her in Montessori, starting at half a day. Her sister was the same way at about the same age (they are Irish twins) so I put her in Montessori as well. It made a BIG difference for both of them-because they really developed discipline, regard for others, working as a team and alone, being organized, and gained a lot of confidence. (The youngest had been very shy.) The oldest became a graduate of NYU and the youngest from a respected engineering school. Both are doing extremely well professionally, along with raising families.

      However, I do believe that early childhood education, if done correctly, can help any child this way, especially if they are from an area or home where they are at a disadvantage from the beginning. They would find themselves on a more equal footing when entering kindergarten, and less likely to fall behind others throughout their educational process because of the opportunity early education would give them to develop the skills my daughters learned.

  4. “Better” than what? Better than if they hadn’t gone to preschool? Better than other kids who did not go to preschool? What other kids? Disadvantaged kids with no enriching experiences, would be my guess. Better than kids who are well-reared with many enriching, real-world opportunities and social interaction? I wonder. Please explain your use of “better” without the comparative other. Thanks.

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