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The Benefits of High-Quality Pre-K

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The Benefits of High-Quality

Making a Healthy Investment in Child Development: The Benefits of High-Quality Pre-K The years before a child enters kindergarten are a criical window for healthy cogniive, physical, social and emoional development. The circumstances and experiences children have during these early years can shape their health and success for a lifeime. Unfortunately, too many young children face obstacles that hinder healthy development, including the efects of poverty and other adverse condiions beyond their control. About 3 in 5 of Pennsylvania’s preschool-age children live in lower-income households, i which can jeopardize healthy development and put them at greater risk of academic failure. High-quality pre-kindergarten is a proven tool to help overcome some of the negaive impacts many of these young children face, and research shows it is beneicial to children at risk due to economic circumstances and/or family social and emoional issues. High-quality pre-k programs not only prepare children for success in school and in life, but they also have been shown to promote good health in childhood and into adulthood. ii The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has long advocated ensuring children have access to high-quality pre-k and other early learning opportuniies that meet the full array of a child’s developmental needs. The AAP encourages parents to talk to their pediatricians about child development and advocates that pediatricians strive to prompt and encourage that conversaion. At the same ime, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the AAP encourages our state to increase access to high-quality pre-k in an efort to ensure more children can beneit from this once-in-a-lifeime learning opportunity that promotes healthy development. May 2016

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