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What Is a “School Ready” Community?

Parents everywhere are grappling with the start of school. Here is some food for thought from the Smart Beginnings State of Local School Readiness Report:

We know what children, families, schools and the community need to provide to ensure a child’s readiness for school. The Getting Ready research states that children “…need to be surrounded by strong structures in their lives: Caring families, Supportive communities, Ready schools and Effective service. Efforts to improve school readiness are most effective when they embrace the rich cultural and language backgrounds of families and children.” A young child’s readiness for school is influenced by a child’s development in five areas:

  1. Physical health and motor development
  2. Social and emotional development
  3.  Approaches to learning
  4.  Language development  
  5. Cognition and general knowledge

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For our children to be ready for school, our community needs to be ready to prepare them for success. A child’s readiness for school is the result of: Ready Children, Ready Families, Ready Services, Ready Schools, Ready Communities. Each component plays an essential role in school readiness and no one component can stand on its own. Smart Beginnings’ initiatives and goals address the five areas.

Importance of Starting Early

The first five years of life have an enormous impact on how well children learn and grow throughout their lifetime. Early experiences have tremendous influence on the development of the brain’s neuron connections. This “wiring” impacts the capacity to learn and develop social, emotional and cognitive skills. In the first three years of life, the majority of a child’s language development occurs.

During this critical time of development, we invest the least in children. The research shows that early learning experiences, the quality of young children’s environment and social experience have a decisive, long-lasting impact on children’s successful development and their ability to learn. However, during this period of rapid growth, communities invest the least in children’s education, care and services.

To learn more about what our community is doing to address this, visiting our Smart Beginnings section of our website.

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