Getting all children off to a strong start with a high-quality early education that focuses on science can have such a positive impact on the development of low-income infants and toddlers that it can level the playing field.

That’s according to a recent Educare, University of Miami study that takes a close look at how our United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education – a part of the Educare Learning Network – is preparing children academically.

Science learning at any age involves curiosity, exploration, and discovery and comes naturally to most infants and toddlers. What sets The Center apart is that we promote an inquiry-based learning approach that is guided by an investigation or questions posed by children. And the results of this approach are promising.

In the study, prepared by Bellwether Education, 357 children throughout Miami-Dade County were assessed and the results show that children in The Center’s Head Start program performed better than other Head Start children in the county.

The research suggest that the Center’s inquiry-based learning approach and its unique focus on science had the largest impact on Head Start children and has the potential to close the achievement gap for low-income at risk young children. That’s encouraging news for our program and exciting news for our students.