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 Pre‑K 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 Pre‑K programs.
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.
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 Pre‑K program generates a range of benefits for children, families, and the community.
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
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 Pre‑K)
Reduces work absences due to childcare challenges, and makes it easier for parents/guardians to hold jobs
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 Pr‑K and moving to Kindergarten
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.