Childhood development linked to learning skills later in life

Kindergartners learn computing. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With the start of the school year, many parents are already preparing their children to start kindergarten next year.

Tonda Brown, the Early Childhood Director at Manor ISD, and Laura Koenig, the Director of Early Childhood at E3 Alliance, joined us in the studio to discuss the importance of childhood development at an early age.

“Every young learner needs to have strong foundational skills that become the basis for his or her future learning,” said Brown. “This includes: Social and emotional skills being able to pay attention, and getting along well with others. Language and communication skills being able to express ideas, and emerging literacy and math skills.”

According to Koenig, if young learners are not ready for school, they may struggle. E3 Alliance data shows that kindergarten readiness is the strongest predictor of a student passing STAAR in the third grade in Central Texas.

Last year, there were about 3,000 more students not ready for school than ever before. Looking at regional data, Koenig said “there was a tremendous growth in child poverty, while services for children did not keep pace. These young learners were living with stress and trauma and could not get the help they needed.”

To combat this Manor ISD is offering training for teachers so they are prepared to teach children who come from poverty, stress, and trauma.

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