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Part I: Early Childhood Attendance & Building a Foundation for Lifelong Success

Illustrative representation of people with checkmarks indicating attendance records

Early childhood attendance plays a pivotal role in shaping a child's future. The formative years of a child's life, from birth to five years old, lay the groundwork for cognitive, social, and emotional development. Regular attendance during this crucial period is not just about showing up; it's about providing a solid foundation for lifelong success.

As we know by working in Head Start, early childhood attendance is linked to the achievement of developmental milestones. Children who regularly attend preschool or daycare have exposure to structured learning environments that stimulate cognitive growth. This provides opportunities for language development, problem-solving skills, and social interaction. Consistent attendance also fosters the development of essential social and emotional skills. Children learn to navigate relationships, cooperate with peers, and regulate their emotions in a supportive environment. These skills are critical for success in school, the workplace, and interpersonal relationships throughout life.

Early childhood attendance is a precursor to academic readiness. Children who attend preschool or other early education programs are better prepared for the formal learning environment of school. They enter school with a foundation of basic skills, confidence, and a positive attitude towards learning, which significantly contributes to academic achievement in later years. This also helps reduce achievement gaps that may exist between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds. And lastly, early childhood attendance encourages parental involvement in a child's education. Parents who actively participate in their child's early learning experience are more likely to stay engaged throughout their academic journey.

So how does your program support good attendance? How do you track children who have a high average daily attendance percentage versus a lower one? How do staff know when to connect with families who are struggling with good attendance? Does your program look at absence reason trends to program plan and try to mitigate any community-wide gaps? We hope your answers include using a database management system, like ChildPlus, to support this work. There are easy-to-use reports and quick reminders found within ChildPlus that can help teachers and family support staff, managers and directors, and also the board track and view your program's overall attendance, from child level to program level. Consistency in attendance monitoring is key to building a solid foundation for each child and family enrolled in your program. In our next post, we will discuss the answers to these questions.

Interested in learning more about this topic or other ways you can improve your program? The team at Sawyer Consulting Solutions is here to help you showcase all the amazing ways your program supports the community. Schedule a free, no-obligation, no-cost discovery call with us today.

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