Early Childhood Learning Gets a Boost in the Region

Did you know that the capacity of a child’s brain to absorb new learning actually peaks at age 3? In fact, it is during this time that the human brain has its highest potential for new learning. And by age 4, that child will begin knowing their first and last name, following rules, recognizing colors, eating by themselves, dressing themselves, and more.

And it’s been proven that high-quality preschools and pre-kindergartens give children a jumpstart to learning, and will have prepared them for kindergarten.

So why is it that most education systems don’t start our children’s schooling until the age of 5?

Get Ready Early Childhood LearningThat’s something the Central Kentucky Community Foundation (CKCF) was addressing in 2012, when they helped launch the Get Ready early childhood education program with some financial assistance from PNC Bank. Many community partners helped implement the program, which was designed with targeted outcomes, including:

  • To provide a unique learning opportunity for children birth – 5
  • To help parents discover how they can facilitate their child’s learning
  • To support teachers and enhance their skills in childcare settings
  • To increase community awareness of early learning and build support for the program

Not only did the program meet these outcomes, it exceeded them. 328 children and 220 adults participated in the Get Ready! Camp. And, Get Ready! Childcare included 28 childcare teachers and more than 1000 participating children. The “return on investment” in enthusiastic learning and community response was tremendous.

On January 11, CKCF announced that PNC has once again stepped up to invest in the future of the region, demonstrating their belief in Get Ready and the importance of the program for our children. Get Ready! 2013 will begin in June, soon after the 2012 school year ends.

“It is wonderful to see what began as just a spirited conversation a couple of years ago, turn into such an important program for the community,” said Davette Swiney, Vice President, CKCF.

Also in January, Education Week, a national publication dedicated to education issues, ranked both Kentucky and Indiana in the top twenty on its annual Quality Counts report, which measures education policy and achievement indicators. Kentucky received a B-minus grade, beating out last year’s C-plus grade. The state’s highest mark was an A in a category called “Transitions and Alignment,” which measures how a state connects K-12 schools with early learning, higher education and the world of work.

It’s programs like Get Ready that help our region better prepare today’s children for success in K-12 schooling, college and beyond, and lead to honors such as this. Congratulations to CKCF and PNC Bank for keeping a great program up and running, and to Kentucky for a job well done!