Destination Kindergarten: A 2,000 Day Journey

2,000 is the approximate number of days, in a child’s life, from birth to kindergarten. While many know the benefits of having your child in an early education environment, the reality is that all families in Orange County cannot financially afford to do so. Central Florida ranks as one of the lowest median wages out of 50 metro areas in America, only marginally beating out the Tampa Bay area which is ranked last.

Eighteen percent of Orange County residents live at or below the poverty line. Because more than 90 percent of a child’s brain in formed before the age of 5, the implications of poverty can take a massive toll on a child’s development in key areas needed for school success such as self-regulation, memory, learning and social-emotional control. Currently Orange County is resident to almost 20,000 children, ages 0 to 4, living in poverty.

By age 2, children in the lowest socio-economic group are behind their peers in measures of cognitive, language and social-emotion development and a six-month gap in language skills undermines other learning. By age 5, one out of the three children Orange County who enter school are considered “not ready” for kindergarten.

Early education provides a solid foundation for future success. Studies have shown that early childhood education can impact everything from success in college, wage earnings as adults and deter criminal behavior. When a child enters an educational environment at the age of 5, it may be too late for them to receive the proper foundation needed to thrive in an academic environment. Studies show that 90 percent of children who start kindergarten behind remain behind four years later.

While statistics can be somewhat overwhelming, listen to these local Orange County parents share with you their experiences having their children attend early education programs.

Currently there are more than 4,000 children on the wait list for early learning programs. Donate today to help eliminate the wait for safe and affordable child care services.

Read the press release

Comments are closed.