First Eight Years Are Critical To Children's Success

By  KJZZ News
November 04, 2013

Nearly two-thirds of America’s children are having a tough time achieving necessary skills by third grade. A new study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds it’s twice as hard for kids from low-income and minority families.

Children’s Action Alliance president Dana Naimark is part of Build Arizona, a coalition of business and nonprofit leaders. She says if a child doesn’t possess age-appropriate skills by age eight, chances for a successful life decrease sharply.

"That certainly means for those particular students a far greater chance of school failure and of really struggling with their own incomes and their own careers all throughout their lives," Naimark said.

Build Arizona is calling for expanded access to high-quality preschools, increased home visits, and greater involvement by schools. They believe this is essential for children to enter school with the skills needed to meet the state’s increasingly rigorous educational standards.