Education: The Early Years, Ages 3 to 6

Adopted March 1988 – Revised April 2022 – Education Commission

California State PTA recognizes the significant positive or negative impact early education experiences have on a child’s self-esteem, social competence and readiness to achieve academically. It is at this time in their lives that children acquire their knowledge about the physical and social worlds in which they live.

California State PTA believes that all children ages three to six should have the opportunity to experience early childhood education that is developmentally appropriate. There are certain components that are essential to any early education program if children are to become successful learners.

These components include, but are not limited to:

  • An age-appropriate curriculum that provides physical, intellectual, social and emotional experiences for the individual child;
  • Teachers with specialized early childhood training and commitment who understand how young children learn and know how to provide the appropriate curriculum;
  • A flexible educational setting where each child’s growth and maturity determines his or her pace for advancement; and
  • A strong family engagement component designed to
    • Enable parents to enhance the child’s development at home by providing parents with the knowledge needed to be their child’s first teachers, emphasizing the importance of the first five years on children’s long-term education success;
    • Help parents understand the age-appropriate well-rounded environment and the functions of the varied activities provided at school; and
    • Empower parents as advocates for implementation of an age-appropriate well-rounded educational program for all students.
  • Public schools prepared to meet all students’ needs as they enter kindergarten by collaborating with preschool programs and parent/guardians in developing transition plans.

California State PTA recognizes on-going fiscal constraints on public education. Therefore, PTA supports the concept that creative solutions can be found to finance education for ages three to six through a combined use of public and private funds.

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