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Why early childhood matters to superintendents

From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more, and more rapidly, than at any other time in their life. And numerous studies have demonstrated that children with access to quality early learning are more prepared for kindergarten. They have increased vocabulary, better language, math and social skills, more positive relationships with classmates and they score higher on school-readiness assessments.

According to a recent national Gallup Poll study of U.S. public school superintendents, 77 percent of superintendents say “early childhood care and education has ‘a great deal’ of impact on the long-term success of students in school.”

School superintendents across Arizona agree. Belo w, some of these school leaders share why school readiness that is developed during a child’s first five years is critical to later student success

Scholl“Early childhood education (ECE) is a vital first step to ensuring success throughout a studen’ts Prek to 12 educational career and beyond. ECE helps shrink the achievment gap for those students in at-risk populations such as English language learners and special needs students.”

John Scholl, Superintendent
Chino Valley Unified School District


doeringEarly childhood care and education “helps children persist, it helps them with social skills, they are more likely to hold down a job when they get older, they are more likely not to be arrested, to graduate high school. Really what we are doing is teaching them those skills early and young so they have multiple opportunities to practice them.” 

Laurie Doering, Superintendent
Crane School District (Yuma)

Spiller“Personally, based on research and experience, I have concluded that children that are cognitively, emotionally, socially, and physically on track and adjusted by the end of their first grade year in school are more apt to become successful adults. Therefore, the more resources we devote towards early childhood development the better chance we have as an educational institution in accomplishing that endeavor.” 

Kevin Spiller, Superintendent
Thatcher Unified School District

Sandoval“District superintendents and site principals are keenly aware of research corroborating the impact of academic pre-school on future student achievement; particularly in high need and underserved populations.”  

Roy Sandoval, Superintendent
Gila County Schools

Morris“The foundational support a child receives before entering kindergarten will set the tone for academic success for every child.  In addition to the academic support, being in a qualified learning environment with other children will allow a child to flourish socially and emotionally as they learn to collaborate.  Early childhood education is essential for any young child and essential for us as they will be our future.”   

Dr. Edna Morris, Superintendent
Baboquivari Unified School District

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