Early Learning: Birth to Third Grade Continuum
SREB Annotated Bibliography, 2014
Recent studies indicate that persistent achievement gaps among children begin as early as 18 months, years before most publicly funded prekindergarten programs offer enrollment. Early childhood development necessitates more than access to pre-K at age four. Proper brain development requires adequate nutrition, access to quality healthcare, and other early interventions to promote social, emotional, and physical well-being. Likewise, research supports such a holistic approach to early education — including recommendations to states on implementing parent engagement opportunities, early literacy interventions and home visiting programs — to ensure that every child enters school ready to learn. Policy-makers should look for ways to align these programs from birth through third grade to ease the transition into school, especially for at-risk children.
The following studies provide a sampling of research on policy topics with nationwide applicability.