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2,000 days between birth and kindergarten



Guest Columnist

Did you know there are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and when that child begins kindergarten?

The foundation for all future learning is built during early childhood. The brain is the only organ not fully developed at birth.

Experiences during this time have a lasting impact on later learning, health and success. A child’s earliest experiences determine how their brains are wired and lay the groundwork for future health and form the foundation of the social and emotional skills needed for academic and workplace success. In fact 90 percent of critical brain development happens in the first five years of life.

These are just some of the reasons why quality early childhood education is critical.

High quality early childhood programs produce results.

Early Childhood Investments are a matter of:

  • National Security-75 percent of Americans 17 to 24 cannot meet the military’s eligibility requirements (that is nearly 775,000 young North Carolinians unable to join the Military.)
  • Economic Prosperity-80-90 million adults (nearly half the US workforce) do not have the basic education and communications skills required to acquire and advance in jobs. NC Employers report poor communication skills. Six out of 10 surveyed North Carolina employers reported communications skill gaps among job applicants.
  • Crime prevention-In FY 2012-13, the General Assembly appropriated in state general funds-$1.38 billion to the Division of Corrections and $266 million to the Division of Child Development. At-risk children that didn’t attend quality pre-kindergarten were 5 times more likely to become chronic criminal offenders by age 27.


High Quality Early Childhood Programs Produce Results!

  • By 3rd grade, about one-third of the achievement gap can be closed by early education
  • NC 3rd graders have higher standardized reading and math scores and lower special education placement rates in counties that received more funding for Smart Start and NCPreK when those children were younger
  • High quality early childhood programs increase graduation rates by as much as 44 percent; NC’s graduation rate exceeded 80 percent for the first time in 2012. It is 82 percent in 2013.
  • A 5 percent increase in male high school graduation rates is estimated to save NC $152 million in annual incarceration rates
  • Participants in high quality early childhood programs have higher earnings, pay more taxes and are less likely to rely on government assistance
  • Every dollar invested in early education produces a 10 percent return through increased personal achievement and social productivity

For more information visit www.first2000days.org.

Want to learn more about the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties?

The Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties is your local Smart Start agency. You can reach us at 704-922-0900 or visit us online at www.pfclg.com. Our vision is a community where young children will reach their health and educational potential.


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Twitter: Ready4School


Save the Dates:

Join us for the Fifth Annual Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties Family Spooktacular, Saturday, Oct. 26, 12 Noon to 4 p.m., WoodMill Festival Grounds, 1350 WoodMill Winery Lane, Vale, NC. There will be games and activities for children of all ages, including a bounce house, a fitness trail, and trunk or treat. A fire truck, police car and ambulance will be on site for the children to view. A FREE hotdog lunch will be provided!


Amy Wadsworth is Public Information Coordinator for the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.

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