It is often said that the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes, but I would like to argue for one more thing to be added: Early Childhood Education. Yes, I think Early Childhood Education should be mandatory. It might seem like a bit of an odd choice, but I believe that by the end of this blog post, you might just agree with me.
Early Education Has Lifelong Benefits
Several studies in the US and Canada, which are culturally quite similar to the US, have proven that early childhood education has lifelong benefits that stretch far beyond those early years into adulthood and the community. Adults who have received early education make more money, approximately 3.5% more than their counterparts who didn’t get started early. Some studies have even gone so far as to say that early childhood education can level the playing field regarding socio-economic standing. Those from poorer backgrounds, especially people of color, have a better chance of success later in life. It has also been proven that people with early childhood education are less likely to commit crimes.
With so many excellent benefits, why aren’t all children enrolled in early childhood education? The answer is money in the United States and many other countries worldwide. Only 19% of countries out of 166 studied offered tuition-free early childhood education, making it a requirement. That’s 31 countries out of 166. 27% of countries provide two or more years for free, while 45% offer one year for free.
Countries that provide one year of early childhood education see a 16% increase in enrolment over countries that don’t offer it for free. This shows that, quite clearly, part of the reason more kids aren’t getting early childhood education is finances. It’s a topic that has been all over the news recently. Families say that one parent works just to pay the cost of early education for their kids.
The Importance of Early Education
But the great news is that as more people become aware of the importance of early education, more options are being made available. These days you can find several early education programs online. Please look into A Chance to Learn for program options. They may not have all of the benefits of a traditional preschool option. However, they still offer help to children who previously would have never had the opportunity to get that education.
Or we could take the route some other countries have taken and make early childhood education mandatory. Of course, many questions would need to be answered to make that a reality. But for the sake of our children, the sake of the future of our nation…aren’t those questions worth asking? If the benefits of early education are that good, we owe it to future generations to explore all the alternatives.