Early Childhood Education

A growing body of evidence shows positive benefits to early childhood education experiences, both for the child and society. Children who have high-quality early childhood education experiences are more likely to achieve in school, are less likely to repeat a grade, and are more likely to graduate from high school on time. Later in life, they are more likely to attend a four-year college and own a home and car, and they are less likely to commit crimes. School principals play a key role in ensuring that young children receive the solid educational foundation they need by helping connect early childhood education and K–12 into a seamless continuum and supporting developmentally appropriate teaching and learning practices.

NAESP believes that:

icon box image

Early childhood programs and experiences should be available for all children and that there should be a continuum of learning from early childhood through third grade.

icon box image

Early childhood curriculum should include ambitious standards and instruction, purposeful play, and age-appropriate assessment.

icon box image

Federal and state funding for school-connected early childhood programs must be a legislative priority.

icon box image

Principals must be provided individualized professional learning to strengthen their knowledge of early childhood education.

NAESP recommends access to high-quality universal preschool for three and four-year-olds.

Take Action

Advocate for high-quality early childhood education by going to the NAESP Advocacy Action Center and sending a message to your members of Congress.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research (May 2021).