This summer, parents and caregivers will choose a life-changing course of action for their children by preparing them to enter kindergarten this fall. Some may utilize Ready At Five’s popular, no-cost, family engagement program, ReadyRosie Summer Soar, while others will take their children to their favorite, Maryland library to listen to books being read to them or take those book home. Children everywhere will play math games on (their parents’!) smartphones, or explore nature and the great outdoors, building their foundation for science skills. Most of us regard a child’s successful ‘school readiness’ as a combination of knowing a few letters and numbers, a couple of colors, and being able to share and get along with others. But, there is another critical factor for a child’s success in school that cannot be undervalued or overlooked: good health.
We were happy to celebrate Louise Corwin's strong leadership of Ready At Five and wish her all the best in her retirement! Thank you Louise!
The month of June, for some children, marks the end of their preschool year and the summer before kindergarten starts. For the lucky few that were afforded the opportunity to participate in high-quality preschool, these children have greater chances for success when they return to school in September. Sadly, though, 88 percent of Maryland's 3-year-olds and 57 percent of Maryland's 4-year-olds did not have access to publicly-funded early learning programs. In the 2015-2016 school year, only 5 percent of 3-year-olds and 36 percent of 4-year-olds in Maryland participated in the state’s high-quality preschool program. This means many parents likely had to make the tough decision on whether to spend their resources on food, housing, and other family needs or higher-quality early care and education. The cost of preschool for a four-year-old in the state is $9,000, and the cost of infant care is $13,000 per year, nearly $5,000 higher than the annual cost of college tuition. The president’s proposed 2018 budget will worsen access to affordable, quality early learning programs for children from poor and middle-class families.