Giving Compass’ Take:
• Experts are calling for an end to online preschools citing research of the adverse effects on young children, including behavioral problems and slower social-emotional development.
• What is the appeal of online preschools for some families? How can education experts help address gaps in early childhood education that lead to online preschools?
• Read the Giving Compass Fostering Literacy Guide for donors.
Some online preschool programs boast “award-winning curriculum” and offer money-back satisfaction guarantees. Others offer subjects like science and art and virtual field trips to animated farms. One kindergarten-readiness program offers children the promise of academic growth in as little as 15 minutes a day, five days a week. It receives funding from the state of Utah to provide online learning to rural children and has launched pilot programs in several states across the country, including Mississippi.
But dozens of early childhood education experts are warning that these online preschool programs, which are used by thousands of children nationwide, are no more than a “marketing scheme” and may actually do more harm than good.
“It just goes against everything we know about child development and what’s best for children,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “Children at that age learn best when they’re engaging all of their senses, when they’re using their hands, when they’re in social situations with peers and caring teachers … none of that can happen when a young child is on a computer.”
Online preschool programs could lead to behavior problems, sleep deprivation, and delays in social-emotional development as a result of screen overuse, according to more than 100 educators, experts, and preschool advocates who signed on to a statement released today by Defending the Early Years and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in partnership with more than a dozen other organizations.
Research shows that children who have access to high-quality preschool reap benefits. They are more likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to be held back. Children who lack access to quality preschool “are often the target of these online programs,” according to the statement.
Read the full article about the end of online preschools by Jackie Mader at The Hechinger Report
Since you are interested in North America, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and North America?
Looking for a way to get involved?
If you are looking for opportunities to learn and connect with others interested in the topic of Early Childhood Education, take a look at these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities aggregated by Giving Compass.
Are you ready to give?
In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Early Childhood Education take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.