The impact of child development is especially pronounced in the effect of developmental delays on early learning. A 2004 Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction survey of Washington State kindergarten teachers reported that on the first day of kindergarten, only 44% of children were considered school-ready. Child development related issues impact 94% of children who are not ready for school.
The achievement gap between children who begin kindergarten behind and their typically developing peers only increases. Children who are not ready to enter kindergarten are less likely to graduate on time, more likely to repeat grades, and more likely to be enrolled in long-term special education. They experience higher rates of teen pregnancy, delinquency, incarceration, poor health, low earnings and increased use of social welfare programs.
But as a child’s first and most important teachers, parents can help their kids to be as school ready as possible. Routine developmental screening is a great way to find out if a child is developing on track.