Working together through continuous learning to improve the quality of life for all in DeKalb County, Indiana
An education initiative of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County

Early Childhood Learning: Why It Matters

  • All children deserve to be safe and have stimulating and nurturing environments.
  • A family’s income level is one of the largest predictors of a child’s success in school—a larger predictor than race or ethnicity.
  • Children who enter school with the recognized “readiness” skills are those who read at grade level before leaving third grade.
  • When children enter school without “readiness” skills, they rarely catch up.
  • Students reading at grade level at third grade tend to be those who graduate from high school and succeed throughout life.
  • Indiana is one of 10 states without state funding for pre-kindergarten (2014).
  • Research shows that participation in quality early learning can increase language and literacy skills. This improves the likelihood of high school graduation, college attendance, and being employed in skilled jobs (National Governors Association, 2013).

DeKalb County Facts

  • Of 3,200 children ages 0-5 in DeKalb County, over 500 enter school each year.
  • Our county’s demographics are changing; the number of young children living in poverty is increasing.
  • In 2012, more than 200 of our county’s children entered kindergarten with limitations that could have been minimized or eliminated through early attention.

School readiness is about the role and responsibility all of us in DeKalb County have in creating the conditions and experiences in which children will thrive and develop to their full potential. We know from the research what works to support early learning and improve school readiness. We also recognize the responsibilities of schools to be ready for the children.

By developing a common definition of kindergarten readiness in DeKalb County and coordinating its work with the Adult and Kindergarten – 12th Grade Education action teams, Learning Link’s Early Childhood action team envisions a county where every child enters school ready to learn. Community members countywide interested in this stage are encouraged to participate and get involved in the process. Contact us to get involved.