Across the country, working families have one thing in common: a need to find safe, affordable, quality care for their children. In 35 states, the cost of childcare now exceeds public college tuition, pricing it beyond the reach of even many middle class families. Worse yet, families who do find reasonably priced care can be stuck on waiting lists for years.
Research to Policy
Research to Policy is our monthly publication that attempts to take our beliefs on early childhood development through three stages: research (scientific evidence), practice (personal experiences), and policy (community-adopted change) in order to raise the number of children who beat the odds in Memphis and strengthen our shared future as a community.
This fall we had the good fortune to be part of kindergarten registration in eight Shelby County schools. We saw excited children, nervous parents, competent teachers, and curious little brothers and sisters. During our wonderful time there, we also collected data for our efforts to better understand kindergarten readiness.
Prematurity takes a high toll on families, and imposes high costs to society. More babies die each year from causes related to prematurity than from any other single cause, and children born prematurely are much more likely to require extended hospital stays, and they run much higher risks of long-term health problems.
When we speak about kindergarten readiness, we often prioritize the critical cognitive skills, like simple memorization or early steps of math. These cognitive skills often overshadow basic social and emotional skills like knowing appropriate classroom behaviors, or demonstrating basic interpersonal skills.