Our Impact: Children - School Readiness
Children in Alameda County:
24 teacher-observed readiness skills sort into four Basic
Building Blocks (Domains) of readiness:
& Motor Skills
2. Social Expression
4. Kindergarten Academics
In Alameda County, only 51% of students assessed entered Kindergarten scoring "Strong" in all domains.
Children studied in Fall 2011 were scored on a scale from 'Not yet' (1) to 'Proficient' (4) on each of the 24 readiness skills. Scores were highest in the Self-Care & Motor Skills area (3.45) and lowest for Self-Regulation (3.18).
The Significance: School Readiness
A growing body of research shows that early childhood experiences during the first 5 years can have a significant impact on whether a student is adequately prepared for school. Children who score poorly in cognitive and non-cognitive skills before entering kindergarten are likely to do less well in school and more likely to become teen parents, to engage in crime, and to be unemployed as adults. High-quality early childhood programs can reduce grade-level retention and special education placement while increasing school achievement and social skills.
Children who attended F5AC Summer Pre-Kindergarten sessions perform equally well in all readiness skills except 'Kindergarten Academics' as those who had longer-term more formal preschool experience.
What Schools and Communities are learning:
The strongest and most consistent predictors of readiness are when:
Children were observed to be well (not being hungry, tired, or ill)
Children were older, female, from higher income families, and whose maternal education was higher
Children were without special needs and who were not born with a low birth weight
Children had attended preschool (especially in Kindergarten Academics and Self-Care & Motor Skills, but not necessarily in social-emotional readiness domains)
Families reported more positive attitudes toward parenting
Schools and other early childhood programs can help smooth children's transition into kindergarten and ensure longer term success by providing short term Summer Pre-Kindergarten programs for children with no formal preschool experience, providing information to parents on school readiness activities, and creating opportunities to introduce parents to their child's school prior to Kindergarten.