Early childhood education is an essential part of a child’s development. Research shows that children who attend preschool or government programs like head start do better throughout their lives. October is Head Start Awareness Month. And as the month comes to an end, it is important to remember to promote school readiness for children all year long.
Benefits of Early Childhood Education
Preschool is one option for children to get more adapt to being in a school setting. Preschools may be publicly funded or privately operated and are usually for children ages 2 to 5 years old. A study in the journal Developmental Psychology, showed that children who attended preschool were approximately eight months ahead of other children in academic learning and about five months ahead in executive function skills, such as listening, planning and self-control.
W. Steven Barnett, the founder and senior co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University, noted the benefits of preschool in an article on the Learning Policy Institute website. “People who attend preschool are more productive in school, work, and society generally—with higher levels of education and earnings, less involvement in delinquency and crime, and fewer chronic health problems,” he said.
According to the Head Start Association, children in Head Start programs also scored better in both cognitive and social-emotional development. These programs get children comfortable in a social setting early on and can help them start working on skills they will need later on in life.
Providing Equal Access to All Children
As of 2019, in the United States, 61 percent of 3-5 years old were in school. However, children from economically middle-upper class families are more likely (75%) to attend preschool than from poorer families (48%).
Head Start programs are significant because they are specifically for children from low-income households who could otherwise not afford access. This includes children in foster care, homeless children, and children in families receiving public assistance.
Increasingly there are more options for parents outside of private preschool options like head start programs and public pre-K options. Forty-five states have some form of public pre-K programs, with Georgia, Florida, and Oklahoma having universal Pre-K options.
In order to keep these programs running, funding is crucial so they can pay for resources and equipment. Below, are three grants available on GrantWatch that help fund supplemental early childhood education/preschool programs.
Five Grants for Early Childhood Education Funding
- Firstly, In-kind grants of materials and resources to U.S. preschools, public elementary schools, and Head Start programs to implement a STEM learning program. Priority will go to schools that serve Title I students.
- Donations of computer equipment to U.S. and territories PreK-12 schools and educational nonprofit organizations. The goal of this program is to ensure modern computer technology is present in every classroom throughout the country so that all children have the opportunity to reach their educational potential.
- Grants to Kansas nonprofits, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, and agencies in eligible counties to help children succeed in kindergarten. Eligible programs should focus on the care, education, development, health, safety and human service needs of children ages 0-6.
- Grants to Hawaii nonprofit organizations for programs and projects in early education for children between the ages of 0 and 5, including major capital improvements. Applicants must discuss potential proposals with program staff prior to applying. Funding is intended to support innovative programs, demonstration projects, and “start-up” projects.
- Finally, grants of up to $500 to California early childhood programs and TK-3 public school teachers to improve mathematics programs for children in eligible regions. Programs must benefit low-income families in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
If you’re looking for more grants like this, check out GrantWatch’s categories for children and education. And to narrow your search even further, make sure to check out GrantWatch’s exact keyword search tool. This resource is only available to paid subscribers, so make sure to sign up today.