Studies show that educational achievement gaps already exist at Kindergarten entry.  Children from low-income families are more likely to start school with limited language skills, health problems and social and emotional problems that interfere with learning.  The larger the gap at school entry, the harder it is to close.

Language proficiency is a key predictor of school success. Early literacy skills (size of vocabulary, recognizing letters, understanding letter and sound relationships) at kindergarten entry are good predictors of children's reading abilities throughout their educational careers. Language and literacy skills enable children to develop cognitive skills and knowledge and to interact effectively with peers and adults.

 







What is an “indicator” and how are indicators used to describe school readiness?
An indicator is a measure that describes a condition. They are numbers, percents, fractions, or rates used to paint a picture of a specific outcome or situation. Examples of child well-being indicators include:

·number of children in single parent families
·percent of children living in poverty
·high school graduation rate
·infant mortality rate

By collecting data from relevant sources, these indicators can be measured, reported, and used to inform thinking about what children need to thrive. Indicators are effective communication tools when discussing policies and programs.

School readiness indicators measure outcomes based on the various dimensions and factors of school readiness.


       

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The School Readiness Indicators Initiative is supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
The 17-state initiative is managed by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT