Childhood development is a determinant of health over a person’s lifetime. Early opportunities for development give a person the foundation for academic success, health, and well-being. Preschool-aged children achieve 90 percent of their adult brain volume by age 6. Positive or negative experiences can support or hinder a child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Therefore, support during this time is therefore crucial to a child’s development.
How Economically-Disadvantaged Communities are Impacted
The number of children living within low-income homes is significant. In the United States, 44 percent of children live in poor or low-income families.
Children that live in low-income families or communities can be exposed to more adverse early childhood experiences. These negative environmental factors delay or compromise their development, and as a result, they can be a detriment to their healthy growth and school readiness.
The Solution: Early Childhood Education
According to the CDC, Early Childhood Education (ECE) aims to improve the cognitive and social development of children ages 3 or 4 years. ECE interventions help to improve the development of children and protect against the onset of adult disease and disability. ECE programs also provide a greater benefit for economically disadvantaged children, because they prevent or minimize gaps in school readiness.
ECE programs have lasting benefits, including providing low-income children with the equal opportunity to achieve school readiness, lifelong employment, income, and health. ECE programs have been associated with improved cognitive development, emotional development, self-regulation, and academic achievement.
How it Works
All early childhood education programs must address one or more of these criteria:
- Cognitive development
- Socio-emotional development
- Motor skills
Some additional components may also be included, like recreation, meals, health care, parental supports, and social services.
Early childhood education programs are delivered several ways. State and district ECE program can be available to all children, regardless of income. Additionally, there are federally funded and evidence-based programs that are geared specifically toward low-income and at-risk children.
GoMo Health is using its science, BehavioralRx™, to bring early childhood education opportunities to children in all locations and circumstances. In 2019, keep an eye out for new program rollouts in New York, Florida, and Mississippi that address early childhood education.