WHITTIER – A vast majority of kindergarten teachers – nine out of 10 – believe 4-year-olds who attend quality preschool programs do substantially better in kindergarten than those who do not, a report released Tuesday showed.Local preschool officials and education leaders said they are not at all surprised by the results of the poll, conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates on behalf of Preschool California.“These results deliver a powerful message that California must do more to make preschool opportunity available,” said Preschool California CEO Maryann O’Sullivan. The poll surveyed 521 public school kindergarten teachers on how they felt about preschool. Those educators were singled out because “more than anyone, they know what children need to get a strong start in school,” O’Sullivan said.Among other things, the poll found that:95 percent of the kindergarten teachers said children who attend preschool are better prepared to learn to read, share, play well, count, show early math skills, follow instructions and recognize colors and shapes.88 percent said they spend extra time working on basic skills with children who did not attend preschool, resulting in less time spent with better-prepared students.“This is no surprise at all,” said Pete Gomez, a Norwalk resident who is the chief psychologist for Plaza de la Raza, a HeadStart preschool provider.“Recent studies have shown that, even up through high school, more students who graduate attended preschool or HeadStart,” he added.Elyse Sullivan, assistant superintendent at the Whittier City School District, said research has shown that kindergarten teachers can “readily identify those students who have had preschool experience.”“The students have a greater facility for language and literacy, and approach learning with enthusiasm,” Sullivan said. “They are unafraid of new experiences, and find joy in learning.”However, according to Preschool California officials, nearly half of the state’s 4-year-olds are not enrolled in any type of preschool program.Also, while publicly funded preschools are scarce, available programs often have long lists of children waiting to enroll, according to the poll by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Preschool California.Lydia Provencio, director of child-care provider CHARO in West Whittier, said her facility has tracked significant academic progress among its preschool graduates.“It’s been about three years since we incorporated more academics into our preschool curriculum, and we’ve seen that our students are scoring higher on their kindergarten entrance exams,” Provencio said.For more information on the poll results, visit www.preschoolcalifornia.org/kindergarten. [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 ——— Nine out of 10 kindergarten teachers believe 4-year-olds who attend quality preschool do substantially better in kindergarten.95 percent of the kindergarten teachers said children who attend preschool are better prepared to learn to read, share, play well, count, show early math skills, follow instructions and recognize colors and shapes.88 percent said they spend extra time working on basic skills with children who did not attend preschool, resulting in less time spent with better-prepared students. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!