It's almost back to school time, but the learning is already under way for young children who haven't yet started school.
Studies show 85% of a child's core brain structure forms before they turn five.
That makes early education important.
Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke works with 20 Roanoke Valley preschools and child care centers to prepare children for Kindergarten.
Kris Meyers, who's with Smart Beginnings, says getting small children on the right path to learning early can prevent problems, and even save money years down the road.
"Children who aren't reading in third grade tend to be the sme ones that don't graduate from high school, which puts a burden on all kinds of services in the community. So, really focusing on those first five years has proven with research to make an impact on quality of life down the road for children and for people," says Meyers.
August is School Readiness Month.