AMARILLO -- A new report released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows Texas in the bottom third of states for the percentage of kids who attend preschool.
The First Eight Years: Building a Foundation for Lifetime Success highlights why critical investments in childrens early development are essential for effective transition to elementary school and continued success into adulthood.
"In Texas, two-thirds of low-income 3- and 4-year-olds are not enrolled in preschool. By the age of 6, 2 in 3 of these children will not have had a single developmental screening by a doctor. Unfortunately, this means that we are unable to identify potential problems that can be targeted for early intervention. Our nation has ignored decades of child development research that clearly shows our most vulnerable children are not receiving the social and emotional support they need. These early supports are necessary for children to acquire the foundational skills necessary for success in the classroom and beyond. With more than half of Texas 0-8 year olds living in low-income families, it is imperative that our kids get a strong early start that helps counteract the effects of poverty and our failure to sufficiently invest in our kids," said Texas KIDS COUNT Director Frances Deviney, PhD.
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