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7 Things You Didn't Know About Kindergarten

Early Childhood Education | 04/21/2016

Deb Jaquith Marketing and Communications Director

Deborah serves as the marketing communications director for Stand for Children Washington.

At Stand for Children, we know the importance of high-quality pre-K and Kindergarten programs in closing the achievement gap. High-quality early education has shown to help dramatically improve student outcomes and prepare children to graduate high school, ready for college and career.

That’s why we work to address two of the key challenges with early education: quality and access. Too many low-income children lack access to quality pre-K programs and we’re working to right that wrong in most of the states where we work.

In recognition of National Kindergarten Day today, here are 7 things you might not know about kindergarten:

  1. In the U.S., the first kindergarten was founded by Margarethe Schurz in Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1856, while the first American English-language kindergarten opened in Boston in 1860.
  2. Today, around 3.7 million children attend kindergarten in the U.S.
  3. By the time low-income children reach kindergarten, fewer than half are considered school ready (considered knowing letters, numbers and colors, for example), compared to 75% of higher-income children.
  4. Early childhood education can boost children’s earnings later in life. Long-term analysis suggests that early childhood education can increase earnings in adulthood by 1.3 to 3.5 percent -- earnings which exceed the costs of these programs.
  5. Most public schools usually allow children to enroll in kindergarten when they turn 5 during the fall of the kindergarten year. However, the cutoff date for turning age 5 and laws around entering kindergarten vary by each state and even district. 
  6. Dozens of preschool programs have been rigorously examined since the 1960s. Overall, across all studies and time periods, high-quality early childhood education increases cognitive and achievement scores for students significantly.
  7. More than 75% of all kindergarteners are enrolled in full-day kindergarten, which shows better educational outcomes for students than half-day kindergarten.

We can do better for all our children.

Learn more about one of our campaigns to close the achievement gap by investing in high quality pre-K for all of Massachusetts’s kids.

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