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During the years between birth and five years old, children discover and establish the skills critical to life long learning. There are mountains of research supporting the need for quality support and programs for children before they enter kindergarten; however, the standards required by each state fail miserably in this area.

The No Child Left Behind Act established grants for pre-school programs in low income areas to help with school readiness and in the area of reading. Another grant program under the Obama administration was established to help early childhood educators improve their skills and knowledge. These types of programs acknowledge the need and importance of early childhood education, but it is limited to a small range of districts, students, and educators.

With even more difficulties brewing for our school systems with the state and federal budget problems, all education programs will be strained. This is when parent involvement and good teachers make all the difference. Research shows that early, primary, and secondary education programs are more successful when there is parent involvement regardless of private, public, location or economic level. The parents and the good teachers need to work together in leading the way to ensuring that the children will remain a priority at all levels of education and especially during the early years. By working within the school system and succeeding, the parents and teachers will show the government systems that it can be done and must be done.

Every child needs to be exposed to books, letters, numbers, shapes, and colors during their early years. This does not take a lot. Quality early education programs does not equal expensive early education programs. Small children will re-read the same book over and over and over again. And love it each time. Blocks are shapes and patterns; they stack and fall; they fit together one way and not another; they make noise when hit together - all of these things are learning. And fun. And easy. Children also learn by and love to play with marbles or little cars; sort playing cards; and play with dice and Board Games. With early childhood education, it is not the children who require too much, it is the adults and the educational and government systems that do not support the importance of the children.

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Q: Early Education Programs are Essential
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