Early Childhood Education
Prioritizing High Quality Childhood Programs
While for years the crucial importance of early childhood education in a student’s development, both intellectually and socially, continues to be validated, the state funding for universal full-day Pre-Kindergarten is an ongoing issue. With 90% of brain development occurring by age five, early experience and learning environments can have a lasting impact on not only education but also potential growth and employment through adult years.
Providing young children with a healthy environment in which to learn and grow is not only good for their development, it is also good for the community. Economists have also shown that high-quality early childhood programs bring notable returns on investment to the public. The Institute for Education Sciences finds that only 5% of public education dollars is being spent on early childhood education. The range of returns on this investment is between $4 and $9 for every dollar invested in early learning programs for low-income children according to three of the most rigorous long-term studies. Students participating in early childhood education programs that were followed into adulthood and found to have increased earnings while the public saw returns in the form of reduced special education, welfare, and crime costs, and increased tax revenues from program participants later in life.
Although the importance of early childhood education is widely supported, the funding of the programs continues to cause debate at both the state and federal levels. However, the commitment to student achievement and success is always our top priority in Alief. With that, the Board of Trustees have voted to approve the pilot full day pre-kindergarten program at five of our elementary campuses this upcoming school year. Those campuses are Petrosky, Mahanay, Hicks, Bush and Cummings. We truly believe that this an important step in closing the achievement gap and providing students with a strong educational foundation.
The commitment to early childhood education in our district reaches beyond our classrooms. Alief is in its second year of creating partnerships with local childcare providers in our community. The Alief ISD, in partnership with the Children’s Learning Institute from UTHealth, has brought the Texas School Ready program to daycares in our area. The daycares participating in this partnership are receiving coaching in their class, instructional materials, more than 50 hours of professional development, and an assessment program completely free. Last year we worked with the three and four year old classrooms, and this year we will be offering engage accounts and self-paced professional development to the infant and toddler teachers.
In moving forward, you will continue to hear more about our commitment to early childhood education programs and partnerships. If you are interested in more information about our early childhood education programs or any other programs, please visit our Alief ISD district website at www.aliefisd.net.
Alief ISD Superintendent
Providing young children with a healthy environment in which to learn and grow is not only good for their development, it is also good for the community. Alief ISD prioritizes early childhood education.