Career Success Is Determined In Childhood

According to The Toronto Star, Toronto-area kids are unprepared for Grade One!" As many as 30% of Peel children lack needed skills".

A wide-ranging assessment of senior kindergarten children in Peel Region [next door to Toronto] has confirmed that as many as one in three don't have the physical, emotional and social skills needed to start school.

Research suggests that children who struggle early on in school often fall behind permanently.

School officials weren't surprised by the findings.

The main problem? The parents don't use English at home. And working-poor parents don't have enough access to community support [not sure what that means].

Last year, a federally funded Early Years study of the Dixie-Bloor neighbourhood in Mississauga reported similar findings.

The assessments were conducted in March on 13,364 students in both the Peel public and Catholic boards.

Children are assessed individually on their readiness to read using such indicators as physical well-being, social competence, language, cognitive development and communications skills. Factors such as socio-economic status or birth weight are not included.

In addition, the reports shows that:

1. Girls were significantly more ready for school than boys in all of the five developmental areas examined.

2. Children who attended organized preschool programs were more ready for Grade 1 than those who did not.

"Those preschool experiences have huge payoffs. We want children to be ready to be able to deal with our educational system."

In response, the Peel public board has opened four hub schools — one-stop centres for parenting information and early-learning opportunities, as well as other community supports that help parents. It has also introduced readiness centres in 10 schools and implemented Reading Recovery programs as part of a student support network called Pathways.

"The research shows that the most important factor in helping children be ready for school is a healthy, supportive community with ample opportunities for early development in their preschool years."

MY COMMENT: This story seems plausible except for one thing. We have a large number of successful and prominent Canadians who emigrated here from other lands and grew up in Canada.

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