Young Bright Children


Anyone watching a group of children playing will see many differences among them.  Many of the questions NAGC receives from parents are about children ages 8 and under who are performing at more advanced levels than their peers. After the initial excitement of watching a child learn, parents notice the disparities in children and begin to have questions – Is my child advanced?, How do I make sure there is a continued interest in learning?, and What happens when my child enters school?

There are a few stumbling blocks for parents and educators of gifted young children

  • Young gifted learners are a heterogeneous group where each child develops skills and abilities at different rates; so while one 4 year old may be able to add and subtract numbers, he may struggle to draw a recognizable house or take turns on the swing.
  • Teachers and schools are not trained to recognize advanced ability or be able to differentiate to serve this population of young children.
  • There are few opportunities for outside enrichment during the early years, especially in low-income neighborhoods.

How can parents and teachers nurture a child’s interests and strengths?

What can preschool and kindergarten programs do?

Read NAGC’s Early Childhood Position Paper

Purchase Challenging Exceptional Bright Children in Early Childhood Classrooms by Anna Gadzikowski and Early Childhood Gifted Education (Practical Strategies in Gifted Education) by Frances A. Karnes, Kristen R Stephens, and Nancy Hertzog, available from Prufrock Press.