Time is on our side: Tardiness and School Success

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Head Start / Early Head Start FAQs The Private Industry Council discusses frequently asked questions for Head Start and Early Head Start students. Private Industry Council operates the Head Start / Early Head Start program for Beaver and Fayette Counties in the...

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Regular attendance is vital to the success of a child’s education. Part of the Head Start/Early Head Start of Beaver & Fayette County programs is their emphasis on regular attendance. Each center engages the children in this process with laminated attendance placards that display attendance. Staff, children, and families are involved in classroom attendance promotion.

Perhaps as crucial to regular attendance is punctual attendance. Research has shown that children attending preschool are less likely to be chronically absent in kindergarten. Tardiness often goes hand-in-hand with attendance. “Tackling Tardiness to Promote Good Attendance” from www.attendanceworks.org discusses the institution of a new campaign by Learning and Leadership in Families to deal with the issue in Baltimore’s Head Start program.

The Perfectly Punctual Campaign includes daily, weekly, and periodic strategies to increase punctuality in preschool. Examples include daily tracking of attendance with weekly recognition for students and punctuality reports for families. Periodically, families are recognized for punctuality and attendance in centers with family literacy activities. Reminders of tardiness policies and rationale are provided to parents and guardians and workshops and professional development are offered to teachers and preschool staff.

George Bernard Shaw joked, “Better never than late,” to underscore the value of punctuality.  With tardiness, attendance, and school success so closely linked, educators should stress the importance of time from the very beginning of our children’s education.

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