Why 0-5 Education Matters
While students are not legally required to attend school until age 6, Kindergartens, which typically serve 5 year olds, are widely considered the start of public school. In Dallas County, Kindergarten enrollment is 98% of 1st grade enrollment.
However, national movement to enroll students in school at a younger age is gaining ground given emerging benefits of earlier instruction/intervention. 80% of states offer some commitment to public pre-K for 4 year olds though uptake varies.
The longer society waits to intervene in the life cycle of a disadvantaged child, the more costly it is to remediate disadvantage. As a child grows, the cost to intervene increases and our ability to remediate decreases.
Dallas County Snapshot: 0-5 Education
Without Early Childhood Intervention, an At-Risk Child Is…
Children from low-income families enter Kindergarten at an average of 12-14 months behind their higher-income peers. It is also a little known fact that it takes over 3 months to remediate a child for every 1 month that they are behind. 67% of Dallas County’s population is considered at-risk. The window for intervention is tight: Low-income children reading below grade level at 3rd grade are 6 times less likely to graduate from high school.
0-5 Education Pillars
The Partnership is working together to help more children get the early start on their education they deserve. Nonprofits, child care providers, school districts, foundations, health care providers, public entities, and many more partners across Dallas County are engaging in outcomes-oriented working groups to address quality, access, awareness, and alignment with the North Star of all children entering Kindergarten school ready.
In Spring 2014, more than 75 partners engaged in a district-wide grass tops and grassroots campaign to increase family awareness around Dallas ISD’s Pre-K Round-Up week; registration is up more than 1,000 students as of August 1. Public/private provider partnerships are growing, districts are collaborating in implementing a common multidimensional Kindergarten Readiness assessment, and the news media is bringing greater attention to the Early Childhood opportunities in the region.
What Collective Impact Looks Like
The Commit! Partnership has developed a multi-pronged structure to engage diverse stakeholders in helping more children arrive at Kindergarten school ready. Commit!’s 30+-member Early Childhood Support Council gives input on county collaborative strategy and facilitates connections. In addition, quarterly broad community convenings are backed by outcomes-oriented working groups.
Initiatives Partner Organizations Have Collaborated On
- Common School Readiness Assessment
- County-Wide Pre-K Registration Campaign
- Parent Engagement and Education
0-5 Education News and Events
When House Bill 4 was passed by the 84th Texas legislature in 2015, it was simultaneously applauded and criticized. The author of the bill, state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, said he wanted “to make sure [...]
Dallas County is off to a great start to the school year with an increase of 1,348 more children registered for Pre-K! Congratulations to all those involved in our countywide Early Pre-K Registration Campaign! This [...]
Joint Policy Update The Early Matters Dallas and Houston Policy and Legislative Committees held a joint meeting in May to prepare for the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session by developing a policy agenda aligned to the [...]