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Early Childhood Education Programs Not Evaluated

BOZEMAN -

A new report finds Montana should better access early childhood education programs to ensure kids are ready for kindergarten.

Angelea MacKubbin has a five-year-old daughter who is set to begin kindergarten in the fall.

Her daughter is currently enrolled in the ASMSU Day Care Preschool program.

"The kids are learning to get along in the program," said MacKubbin. "When you're dealing with little ones, it's important that they understand social norms."

She said in addition to going to preschool everyday, she works with her daughter at home to prepare her for kindergarten.

"I read to her every single night and that's a big treat for her. We also work on letter and number recognition," said MacKubbin. "The academic is always a perk, but I think in the end when you're dealing with little ones it's good to consider their development skills."

A report put out by the Early Childhood Data Collaborative finds that most states including Montana do not have a way to link early childhood education data together, meaning the state doesn't know what preschool students are learning prior to entering kindergarten.

"It's difficult to have a handle around if children are entering school ready to learn and prepared for kindergarten and what is the quality of programs that children are accessing," said Carlise King, executive director of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative.

King said it's extremely important to know early childhood data.

"It allows you to look at progress overtime versus the snapshot of a program," said King.

MacKubbin said she doesn't feel like her daughter is ready for kindergarten right now, but said she is hopeful she will be in the fall.

Right now, according to this report, Pennsylvania is the only state that is able to link early childhood education data.

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