Carrollton, KY — Sept. 17, 2015 — In older times, many children did not begin learning to read until they started school, and “starting school” meant going to first grade. Everyone did not attend kindergarten, and all-day kindergarten was a rarity indeed. Preschool was almost unheard of.
Contrast this with today’s emphasis on early learning, and it is clear that many things have changed.
Today's parents are bombarded with advice of all sorts — chief of which concerns early learning. Should children listen to classical music and take piano lessons? What role does physical activity play in a child’s development? Are apps for toddlers a good idea? How important is going to preschool? While today’s parents try to wade through the conflicting information that they hear on the evening news and read on the Internet, today’s grandparents look on in bewilderment, remembering simpler, less anxiety-inducing times.
Fortunately for Kentuckians, the Governor's Task Force on Early Childhood Development and Education has clarified the situation by creating a definition of “school readiness” that gives parents a framework for understanding the skills, socialization and knowledge that children need to hit the ground running in kindergarten. This definition is research-based and measurable, so parents, educators and policy makers can objectively see what will help children reach their potential.
Sometimes called “Kindergarten Readiness,” the five developmental areas that the taskforce highlighted are the following: