County lucky to have high-quality preschool

Published 11:28 am Tuesday, April 4, 2017

There is no question that a good education starts young.

A child’s brain grows to 90 percent of its adult size by five years old, indicating the best time to provide some of life’s most valuable lessons and skills is before kindergarten.

That is where preschool and head start programs become valuable.

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In addition to improving school readiness, studies show children who attend preschool and head start programs have higher standardized test scores, are less likely to be held back in a grade, are less likely to require special education placement and are more likely to graduate high school.

A high-quality preschool education can prepare young scholars for future academic, emotional and social success.

Thankfully, Clark County’s earliest learners have access to top-of-the-line pre-K education.

The Clark County Preschool recently earned a five-star quality rating in the Kentucky ALL STARS program — the highest rating possible.

The program is Kentucky’s expanded five-star quality rating and improvement system serving all early-care and education programs — including childcare centers, head start and public preschools — that receive public funding. The unified system is based on Kentucky’s Early Childhood Standards and research-based indicators of quality.

The rating takes into account several factors, including family and community engagement, classroom and instructional quality, staff qualifications, administrative and leadership practices and more.

The Clark County Preschool has come a long way from functioning within each elementary school, to operating alongside the Generations Center to having its own dedicated facility on Beckner Street (home of the former Hannah McClure Elementary School). This success is owed to all the hardworking teachers and staff working there now and those who helped build the preschool’s solid foundation over the years.

By investing in our preschoolers, we are investing in our future. That investment comes in the form of funding from the district and state, but also in the time and effort put into preparing these little learners for kindergarten and beyond.

We commend the staff at Clark County Preschool, the Clark County Public Schools and the Clark County Board of Education for their dedication to preparing our students for a brighter future.