Why Early Learning?

Preschool Learning Pod

Why does Early Learning (Birth through 3rd Grade) Matter?

Children are learning at birth--even before. The early years are the most extraordinary period of growth and development in a child's lifetime. A child's first year is crucial for building the brain. Interactions with parents, caregivers, child care professionals, teachers and other caring adults play a key role in brain development.


Early learning covers all areas of a child's learning and development. In the years from birth through 3rd grade, children gain physical and social skills, and develop emotionally and cognitively.


Birth through 3rd grade is also the time for parents, caregivers, child care professionals, health care providers, and teachers to observe and track each child's development closely. Every child grows and develops at their own pace. Nurturing the whole child from birth through 3rd grade is essential for preparing all children.

Playing with Baby

What is Prenatal-Third Grade (P3) Alignment?

Prenatal through 3rd Grade (P-3) Alignment is a comprehensive reform strategy focused on ensuring that all children develop the cognitive & social skills that establish strong foundations for future learning. P-3 Alignment focuses on how parents and educators can take a long-range view of child development and education and to develop policies and practices that support the foundational development of children’s most crucial cognitive and social skills.


Graduation rates across our country show strong correlation with achievement levels in reading and writing by 3rd grade. Use of language and knowledge of “literacy” at entry to kindergarten is critical to a student’s ability to become a fluent reader and writer by 3rd grade. We believe that working to develop common approaches that support literacy development among district-community early learning partnerships will result in more children entering school with the skills and attitudes they need to be successful and to maintain that achievement over time.