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As the owner of The Learning Experience (TLE) center, I value early education, but I often have parents ask me why they should consider enrolling their children in an early childhood education program. Children that are enrolled in early-childhood education programs show an increase in graduation rates, a decrease in grade retention, and reduced placement in special education classes.

A program in Alabama has seen an increase of enrollment of four-year-olds, jumping from 3,330 in 2008 to 16,884 in 2017. This is an impressive number and what is even more impressive is the percentage of the first-grade retention rate. In 2008, the retention of first-graders was four and a half percent – in 2017, that percentage was down to less than one-half. Additionally, in later years, nine percent of students in ninth grade were required to repeat the year. Six years later in 2015, that percentage dropped to two percent.

Early-childhood programs also benefit children on a social level. Children are very susceptible to their surroundings and experiences. What they learn and interact with at this age will eventually shape their lifelong journey. Here are just a few social developments children learn in early-childhood programs:

Cooperation

If a child does not have any siblings, this is an especially important concept for them to learn and it can be difficult to teach this at home. It is crucial for children to learn how to share, take turns, and cooperate within a safe learning environment.

Respect

Learning the concept of respect, not only towards other and belongings but also towards their environment is taught in early-childhood programs. In an environment where everything is shared and manners are organically taught and learned, what better place to learn than in an early-childhood program?

Concentration

Children grasp every opportunity they can to explore, discover new environments, and make new friends. Early-childhood programs help balance these imaginative young minds with focus, developing listening skills, following directions, completing tasks, and participating in group activities.  

Confidence

In early-childhood programs, children are able to positively interact with other children and their teachers to develop confidence, self-esteem, and optimism. This promotes a positive view of themselves, which will allow them to problem-solve and approach situations confidently throughout their lives.