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.



Highlights of the State
* Rhode Island has the fewest uninsured children of any state in the US.
* Rhode Island has the best rate of access to prenatal care in the US.

Policy Issues
* Maintaining health care benefits under RIte Care for children
* Measuring child care quality
* Expanding access to full-day kindergarten programs
* Sustaining state investments in child care subsidies
* Increasing availability of affordable housing

Statutory Children's Cabinet
The Rhode Island Children's Cabinet
The Rhode Island Children's Cabinet was created in 1991 by state law. The cabinet functions as an information exchange forum among state departments, private service agencies and the public. Quarterly meetings are attended by state Department Directors; monthly meetings are conducted as work groups made up of senior departmental policy staff on an ad-hoc basis.

The Children's Cabinet committed itself to working toward four broad outcomes:
   * All children will enter school ready to learn.
   * All youth will leave school prepared to lead productive lives.
   * All children and youth will be safe in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods.
   * All families shall be economically self-sufficient yet interdependent.

The Cabinet is composed of the directors of the state departments that serve children: Human Services; Health; Children, Youth and Families; Labor and Training; Administration; Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals; Higher Education; and Elementary and Secondary Education. The Cabinet also includes the Governor's Policy Director and the Rhode Island Child Support Enforcement Administrator. There are no private sector representatives.

Rhode Island School Readiness
Access Benchmarks for Progress; Preparing Rhode Island's Children to Succeed in School by clicking on the following link:

Access Benchmarks for Progress; Preparing Rhode Island's Children to Succeed in School , a Companion Report by clicking on the following link:


© 2005, School Readiness Indicators Initiative
One Union Station Providence, RI 02903 401.351.9400 fax 401.351.1758
If you have a question or comment about this website, please contact us.

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