A child’s early years are the foundation for growth and development. Development in the form of social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth occurs more rapidly in the first three years of life than any other time period with 90% of a child’s brain development occurring before the age of five.
Parents and caregivers are instrumental to the education of a child. These critical adults provide access to language development, a safe and secure home, and are the first to identify barriers to learning, such as health and developmental challenges. Without information and resources, parents may not always know what to look for or how to help their children.
Research shows that high-quality early education is a cost-effective investment for improving school success. While a child’s first teacher is their parent, childcare centers often provide first exposure to a structured learning environment and many of the experiences that lead to their future success.
Children who start school lacking social, developmental, cognitive and language skills are already behind. Research shows that through 3rd grade children learn to read, which builds the foundation for later school success. Following 3rd grade, children read to learn. If the fundamental skills are lacking their academic performance follows suit. According to research completed by the Anne E. Casey Foundation, children who do not read proficiently by 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma as compared to their peers who read proficiency.
The United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region is committed to help children and youth achieve their potential through education.
To achieve our goal, United Way partner programs are:
- Supporting parents and caregivers to ensure appropriate early childhood development.
- Providing opportunities for learning outside of the classroom.
How You Can Help
To reach our community’s goal, we need your help. The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools. We invite you to volunteer and become a mentor or make a donation to support education initiatives in our area.