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No Educator Left Behind:
Early Childhood

No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators. If you have a question about No Child Left Behind, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio, and we will submit your question to the Department of Education.


How does the No Child Left Behind Act benefit infants through pre-k age children?


As any mother can tell you, a surprising amount of progress is made in the first three years of a child's life. Scientists who study how the brain works have found that children learn much more and at an earlier age than once thought possible. Parents who read to their preschool children and teach them the letters of the alphabet give them a real head start toward literacy.

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) supports this effort in several ways. The Early Reading First (ERF) program helps to fund community and school-based projects that teach preschool children letters, sounds, and words, preparing them for kindergarten. More than 100 ERF projects have sprung up across the country. Under No Child Left Behind, Title I preschool services are also provided to about 400,000 children of low-income families. And a number of Parent Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) have opened, providing free classes on early childhood care and learning.

Finally, in 2002, President Bush launched the Good Start, Grow Smart initiative to help preschool teachers align their instruction with their state's academic standards. It also provides parents, teachers, and child -care providers with helpful information on preschool care. Another resource is the Teaching Our Youngest guide. Two more informative booklets, Helping Your Preschool Child and Helping Your Child Become a Reader, are available free of charge from the Department of Education. To order a copy in English or Spanish, please call 1-877-433-7827.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.