The circumstances and experiences during the earliest years of a child's life can lead to a gap in academic readiness and outcomes by kindergarten entry. A variety of conditions, and in particular household income, contribute to this gap, which is known as the achievement gap.
For example, there can be a large gap between the vocabulary of children from lower-income households and their peers from higher-income households by age three. This is often referred to as the Thirty Million Word Gap. If this vocabulary gap exists at kindergarten it becomes magnified as children progress through school, affecting reading achievement and longer-term academic success.
Research also shows that high-quality early childhood education and support for parents with young children can help improve health-related outcomes for children over the course of their lifespan. With this knowledge, Project Eagle places an emphasis on each child's health outcomes and believe that every child should have access to health benefits, a medical home, oral health care, and preventive health care.
This article from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University provides excellent information on the importance of early child development.