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Report: Early Learning in the U.S. Falling Through the Cracks

Most experts agree that early education is profoundly important for children. Yet the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s (AECF) annual Kids Count report finds that the U.S. doesn’t invest enough in early learning.

In fact, AECF found that “federal spending on children is lowest when they are young, even though most brain development occurs during this period.”

The reports also states, “Children who read proficiently by the end of third grade are far more likely to graduate from high school and have successful careers.” But 68 percent of U.S. fourth graders aren’t at the level they should be. Even worse, “by age 8, most children in the United States are not on track in cognitive knowledge and skills, and many lag in the areas of social and emotional growth, physical well-being and engagement in school.”

AECF also found that in 2010 to 2011, only “11 states required schools to offer full-day kindergarten, and five states didn’t require kindergarten at all.”

However, parents have an opportunity to fill in the gaps. Supplemental online programs can help parents make sure their child is learning and growing at an acceptable pace. To help kids learn skills that are so essential in the early years, K12 has developed two early learning products:

EmbarK12: Made for 3–6 year-olds, this online program helps prepare children for Kindergarten. The interactive activities engage children while they learn subjects such as letters and words, math, science, social studies, and much more.

Noodleverse™ Language Arts: This program helps children learn language arts, reading, and writing—which are such critical skills for children to learn early. Made for children in grades K–3, Noodleverse has hundreds of engaging activities for children to explore independently.

With these supplemental programs, parents can do even more to help with their child’s early development.

How have you taken charge of your student’s early learning? Tell us in the comments below.

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Lauren Martin

Lauren Martin

Lauren Martin is a Writer for Learning Liftoff. Previously, she has written for nonprofits as well as marketing agencies. She's covered environmental issues, women's rights, world poverty, and animal rights. With a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Ithaca College, Lauren enjoys interviewing families about their experiences with online education.

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