Why High-
Quality Pre-K?

All children in Forsyth County deserve the opportunity to succeed in school and in life. Brain science has confirmed what most parents already know, namely that the first five years of life are a time of tremendous physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.

But too many Forsyth County children have a long way to go.

Nearly half of Forsyth County children are not proficient in reading by third grade. From there, it’s hard to catch up. A Harvard University study ranks Forsyth County as the 5th worst out of 2,873 counties in the nation for helping poor children move up the economic ladder.

High-quality Pre-K can help children succeed.

High-quality PreK is proven to help children enter kindergarten ready to achieve socially, emotionally, and academically—and Forsyth County is in position to provide all families with the opportunity to enroll their four-year-old children in affordable, high-quality PreK programs.

The benefits for kids are already proven in North Carolina.

A study of children who were enrolled in the state-funded NC Pre‑K Program showed higher achievement and standardized test scores in both reading and math for students through fifth grade, fewer children requiring special education placement, and less retention issues with students in grades 3, 4, and 5.

The Benefits of High-Quality Pre-K

Extensive research over the past forty years shows that high-quality Pre‑K programs are a wise investment that reduces educational achievement gaps and helps improve health and well-being for children from all demographic groups—in elementary school and far into adulthood. Investing in the social, emotional, and cognitive development of four-year-olds by providing the enriching and nurturing environment of a high-quality PreK program generates a range of benefits for children, families, and the community.

For Children

Nurtures a child’s brain during the critical, early years of life—academically, socially, and emotionally

Helps reduce the achievement gap; and increases test scores, high school graduation rates, and college attendance

Fewer children require special education programs

Benefits all children and has an even greater impact on socially and economically disadvantaged students and dual language learners

Increases self sufficiency in the future with a full-time job and home ownership

For Families

Provides resources and support for parents/guardians early in their child’s development, and offers screenings to identify potential developmental and health issues

Allows families to pursue employment, knowing their children are safe and receiving high-quality care

Helps reduce financial burden on working families (publicly-funded PreK)

Reduces work absences due to childcare challenges, and makes it easier for parents/guardians to hold jobs

For Communities

Children become adults who are well-prepared for the workforce

Saves tax dollars that would otherwise be used on special education

Reduces the need for tax dollars spent on educational remediation, social supports, or criminal justice

Every $1 invested yields $7 in long-term economic savings

Produces a ripple effect within the economy in terms of full-time jobs and employed workers


Years of research show that it takes many different factors, all working together, to create a high-quality Pre-K classroom.

Equitable teacher compensation and professional development

Teachers have degrees and early childhood expertise

Minimum of 6.5 hours of instruction for children

Family and community engagement

Evidence-based curricula with a social-emotional emphasis

Continuous program evaluation

Maximum class size of 20 with a 10:1 child to staff ratio

Licensed settings with a 4- to 5-star quality rating

Health screenings and healthy meals

Transition support upon entering PrK and moving to Kindergarten

What We Need to Do

Years of research show that it takes many different factors, all working together, to create a high-quality Pre‑K classroom.

To create more high-quality Pre‑K experiences for our children, we’ll need to:

Standardize education credentials for Pre‑K teachers and administrators

Use teaching tools and curricula that address the whole child (social, emotional, academic and physical development)

Support transitions to kindergarten

Actively involve families in their children’s learning and wellbeing

Support compensation practices for Pre‑K educators that reflect their importance

Encourage high school and college students to pursue a career in Pre‑K education

Provide incentives and supports for current Pre‑K teachers to earn academic degrees or advanced credentials

Increase the number of high-quality Pre‑K classrooms

Establish a plan for increasing local and state investments in high-quality Pre‑K

Design an effective model for administering, managing and evaluating an expanded high-quality Pre‑K system

To do all of this, we’ll need the support of Forsyth County elected officials, civic leaders, and concerned citizens. We know what needs to be done. We just need to work together to make it happen. You can help by getting involved today.