As a professional in the field of Early Learning, it has always been clear to me that the earliest years of life are a period of exceptional development, a time of opportunity and vulnerability, dependent on primary relationships and the learning environment in which the child is growing. Brain research has evolved to reveal astonishing discoveries including knowledge of the exponential volume of neural growth that occurs from birth to 5 years of life.
Recent studies of individuals over a lifespan embed the foundation for success and a lifetime of thriving in these earliest years. For those who experience a lifelong Achievement Gap, its origins are not in middle school nor high school, as was previously thought, but in the first five years of a child’s life. A child that does not have access to a high-quality early learning environment will not be ready for kindergarten, nor for success in school and in life.
The latest research provides another set of clues as we set an even stronger course for disrupting the opportunity gap for all of our children. These recent studies illuminate that proven STEM learning, and in particular Math, correlate directly to success in school.
All children are entitled to the best early learning to disrupt and overcome the opportunity gap to reach their full potential and thrive. Children of low-income or poverty level families are the most likely not to get the early learning support they need in their early years of life.
Each year, Peninsula Family Service (PFS) supports 603 children and their hard-working families in our 9 Early Learning centers providing a safe environment, nutritious meals, targeted therapeutic interventions, and high-quality curriculum. An astonishing 98% of PFS children are at local poverty level.
We, at PFS, are doing everything in our power to disrupt poverty and the opportunity gap by giving these children everything they need to thrive. Our latest commitment is to a new, model program called STEM from the Start. This program will ensure excellence in teaching, curriculum, coaching, and support for all PFS children.
Vice President of Early Learning
Peninsula Family Service