According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, Nevada is falling behind in its targets for Early Childhood Education. In the 2018-2019 school year, 3,070 children were enrolled in preschool education—a modest increase over the year before.
Unfortunately, in the 2020-2021 school year there was 30% or greater decrease. This is likely in part due to Covid-19 and other related issues, but it is no less a serious problem. Other states, such as Washington and North Dakota, at the same time have managed to level off or even show a modest increase in rates of preschool enrollment.
Nevada also missed 3 out of a total of 10 checkpoints available in the report for quality. This makes them fall towards the middle of the states in terms of the quality of the average preschool. It’s important to remember that preschools vary in quality. It’s best to visit a preschool yourself to see that they are well staffed, have educated personnel, and run a warm and welcoming environment.
Why Early Childhood Education is important
Nevada currently has an initiative aimed at improving the education of 3–4-year-olds, as well as kids already in formal education. They also took steps to try and solve the lack of quality preschool education with a $50 million dollar investment into daycares and preschools.
This is because an investment into childhood education is an investment in the future of the state. At risk children who attend preschool are more likely to get the high school diploma than those who don’t.
It also helps give back to the community. $1 invested into early education can yield as much as $17 an hour more in the child’s adult earning life. The more children that enroll in education, the better their lives will be, and the more the community they live in will benefit as well.
Early childhood education benefits parents as well
Statistics show that children are not the only people in a family who benefit from preschool. Preschool also allows parents back into a work setting. Many parents are forced to put their careers on hold after having children, and preschool can help change that.
When both parents can work, it may also improve the child’s life indirectly, through more stable income. The added financial boost from two parents working can help add to food security, among other benefits.
How to find a great preschool
Nevada has many areas that are childcare deserts. It can be difficult to find a quality preschool that cares about the children and has childcare workers who have the credentials to help children grow. Great preschools will have a whole child approach to learning, and keep things play based as much as possible.
If you’re hoping to give your children the best opportunity possible for their future, preschool is the way to go. Ask for a tour of your local preschool and ask them what they do to help educate children. A high-quality preschool can make all the difference in their life—and yours too.