Kindergarten Readiness Assessment
Every two years, First 5 Alameda County (First 5) sponsors a study to measure kindergarten readiness across the county. In 2019, the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA), conducted with our partner Applied Survey Research, examined three key areas:
- Factors associated with children’s kindergarten readiness skills.
- The readiness of families and communities to support children’s development.
- The readiness of elementary schools to meet the needs of children entering their classrooms.
Why Kindergarten Readiness Matters
Readiness for school starts long before the first day of kindergarten. Children that are ready for school have the physical, social/emotional, and academic skills needed to make a successful move into kindergarten. These children are more likely to stay in school and achieve future school success. Gaps in achievement can and should be narrowed with earlier investments. Just as we want to invest in helping children be as ready as possible for school, we also want schools to be ready for children, ensuring that smooth transitions are in place from preschool to kindergarten and beyond.
What the KRA Tells Us
More than half of children in Alameda County show up to kindergarten not fully ready to learn. The 2019 KRA Study showed that only 44% of children in Alameda County were Fully Ready for kindergarten. There was a slight, marginally significant increase in the proportion of children who were Partially Ready and decline in the proportion of children who were Not Ready between 2017 and 2019. While this is promising, overall readiness levels have remained stubbornly stuck around 44% in the last two KRA Studies.
A longitudinal study of kindergarten readiness in 2018 found that students who are more prepared for kindergarten have higher achievement in third grade. Further, four out of five children who are Not Ready in any skill domain are still not meeting learning standards in third grade, a predictor of high school graduation and later health and career success.
Overall, readiness data shows that differences in kindergarten readiness are largely attributable to inequities in access to resources and educational experiences. These outcomes have roots in social, racial, and economic inequity, but can be changed with targeted investments and family-friendly policies. The report provides recommendations for targeted, evidence-based policy and practice solutions to address barriers to readiness. These are closely aligned with First 5’s policy priorities and investments.
Children are not innately “ready” or “not ready” for school. Their skills and development are strongly influenced by their families and through their interactions with other people and environments before coming to school.
Explore the KRA and Access Open Data
To access open data from the KRA, please complete this form.
2019 KRA Brief Webinar (5:36)
For a more in-depth, longer version of this presentation, please contact Jane Bernzweig, Evaluation Specialist, at (Jane.Bernzweig@first5alameda.org).
Dive in Deeper with the Countywide Data Dashboard
Follow the links below to explore the dashboard for Alameda County. Contents include the following:
- Introduction to the KRA and Overview of Child and Family Characteristics
- Children and Families: Percent Ready for Kindergarten, Health and Early Experiences
- Communities: Neighborhood Assets
- Children, Families, and Communities: Readiness Maps
- Schools: Teacher Background and Transition Supports
- Conclusion and Recommendations
Scroll through the gray bar at the top of the dashboard to navigate between sections. For optimal viewing, use the full-screen option at the bottom of the dashboard or open the dashboard in a new window with Tableau. Hold the ALT key and click for viewing tips on the Introduction screen. For creating PDFs in Tableau, see instructions and screen shots here.
Alameda County Kindergarten Readiness Dashboard
Profiles of Kindergarten Readiness in Alameda County Board of Supervisor Districts
Review PDFs created from the dashboard to see an overview of supervisorial districts.
- District 1. Supervisor Scott Haggerty
- District 2. Supervisor Richard Valle
- District 3. Supervisor Dave Brown
- District 4. Supervisor Nate Miley
- District 5. Supervisor Keith Carson
First 5 Resources
- 2021 KRA Presentation
- 2018-19 First 5 Alameda County Annual Report (Policy Agenda on page 3)
- 2018 Longitudinal Study of Kindergarten Readiness and Later Achievement in Alameda County
- 2017 KRA Study
- Kindergarten is an exciting time for children and families. It is also normal for both kids and parents to feel nervous. Check out this guide for information, tips, and resources. The guide is also available in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
- Academic Milestones: See how your child is progressing throughout the school year in literacy and math.
- Comparing the National Outcome Measure of Healthy and Ready to Learn with Other Well-Being and School Readiness Measures
- Assessing Children’s School Readiness in LA County Neighborhoods
- States Pave the Way for Smoother Transitions to Kindergarten
- Ready Schools
- School Readiness Reporting Guide
To access open data from the KRA, please complete this form below