How VPK Students are Prone to Development Delays
In the United States, several entities of the education sector are working on many strategies to ensure that no single child is left behind in the academic proficiency and development. Nevertheless, many scholars in the education industry are discovering that these reform efforts in the education system are not sufficient or are too late for the children, especially those from poor backgrounds. By the time the young ones reach kindergarten through support programs, these children from poor families are already far behind as compared to their peers in terms of skills and school preparedness. These gaps tend to be even more costly as the children progress in their academic stages to elementary, middle, and later high school levels. This realization has made several states and other stakeholders in the education sector to start expanding financial support in pre-kindergarten services effectively with an objective of preparing the students for readiness and successful schooling. With the voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) services, however, students are still prone to development delays. This paper will address the issue of why VPK students that live in poverty are still prone to development delays.
Parents, policy makers, and other players in the education sector recognize the significance of the first few years in the growth and development of a child. However, many children encounter several deficiencies in the first years of their life, for instance, emotional support, health, social, and intellectual development, all linked to the lack of resource as a result of poverty. Human development is a process that entails interplay between genetic factors and environmental conditions. Both nature and nurture have a significant impact on the growth of life and its progression. Furthermore, the first few years are crucial in the functioning, behavioral, social, self-regulatory capacities, and physical wellbeing of children. During these times of growth and development, several factors are necessary for health development, for instance, creation of good relationship with caregivers, cognitive stimulation, and access to effective nutrition and healthcare.
Poverty, as indicated earlier, is one of major causes of development delay among children in the VPK programs. Poverty has several detrimental effects on children in terms of how prepared they are when they join the learning environment. The learning environment entails not only cognitive skills required in class but also aspects, such as socialization, self-regulatory behavior, and approaches involved in the learning process. Children from poverty backgrounds have lower levels of these skills and knowledge, and other social competencies that are significant in the success of the learning process. On the other hand, children from well established backgrounds start schooling when they are prepared well. As a result of the gaps that are exhibited between these two categories of students, children from poor backgrounds find it hard to advance at the same rate as those from well backgrounds, and this widens the gap between them. Some of the effects of this gap include the need for special education by poor students, low grades and grade repetition, and dropping out of schools. This means that poor students from PVK achieve less in life because of the delays in growth and development. In as much of these conditions can be reverted afterwards, the benefits that are accrued from them are minimal.
This study is important because it will assist in developing early childhood interventions, which will be aimed at addressing the poverty aspect that cause various stressors in the early development of children, which end up hindering their growth and development (Karoly et al., 2006). These interferences are premeditated to provide a protective impact to counter poverty risk factors that are capable of compromising the health development of children in their early years before they start schooling. These programs can be varied according to the context in which they apply. The programs cannot be a homogenous model to all children from a given setting, for example, from poor families or parents. The programs vary with the target person, for instance, the parents or children and the individualized attention they offer. The rationale for the interventions is to provide all students an equal competitive platform to learn and progress in life through a health growth and development atmosphere.
There are several sources that have led to the need to study this topic. According to Barnett et al (2011), it was clear that all states had come up with their own process of developing prekindergarten standards. However, there is pressure from the education stakeholders to define what children are supposed to know and have before they Join kindergarten to ensure the success of growth and development among the minors in the future. According to the pre-kindergarten standards (Carter, 2006), educators should educate parents and the public to understand early development and learning of children regardless of their backgrounds. This investigation is beneficial in providing this information to both the educators, parents, and the public. The National Association for the Education of Young Children and National Association Early Childhood Association in the State Departments of Education (2002) provided a warning about unrealistic expectations from the VPKs in assuming that children should be able to succeed in the school environment. However, this investigation is important in addressing the concern.
This topic is significant to me as an early childhood development educator because it provides all the knowledge needed to handle different children from different backgrounds. Understanding different children before beginning the learning process will give me the tools needed and expertise that will be significant to me as the teacher as well as to the children in their growth and development.
Barnett, W. S., Carolan, M. E., Squires, J. H., Clarke Brown, K., & Horowitz, M. (2015). The state of preschool 2014: State preschool yearbook. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research.
Carter, M. (2006). Standards or Standardization: Where Are We Going? Child Care Information Exchange, 169, 36-39.
Karoly, L. A., Kilburn, M. R., & Cannon, J. S. (2006). Early childhood interventions: Proven results, future promise. Rand Corporation.
National Association for the Education of Young Children and National Association of EarlyChildhood Specialists in State Departments of Education. (2002a). Position Statement on Early Learning Standards. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/positionstatements/Exchange, 169, 36-39. learning standards.