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
* Development of kindergarten survey
* Healthy child care in Vermont
* Pediatricians' involvement in children's school success
* Fall study tours and legislative teas to raise community awareness
* Early Childhood Day in legislature
* Career lattice/apprenticeship program
* Health/evaluation/human services coordination
* Research partnership work and its connection to legislature
* Touchpoints more than 500 people trained Children's Upstream Services (CUPs) as support for mental health

Policy Issues
* Universal access to early care and education
* Funding for annual kindergarten readiness survey
* Assure universal access to health care (medical home, smooth referrals to sub-specialties which need to be available in the community, developmental screenings/treatment, services for vulnerable families [mental health, SA and DV services for parents], and system for children with special health care needs)

Statutory Children's Cabinet
Governor's Children and Youth Cabinet
Gov. Howard Dean announced the appointment of the Governor's Children and Youth Cabinet in February, 2002. The cabinet, which is comprised of up to 17 members, will submit a "How are the Children" report annually to the Governor and the General Assembly. In addition, the group will monitor the well-being of Vermont's children, improve the policies relating to children's services, and coordinate services.

The cabinet is chaired by the Secretary of the Human Services Agency, and meets four times annually. Members include the commissioners of: Education; Employment and Training; Health; Social and Rehabilitation Services; Corrections; Prevention, Assistance, Transition and Health Access; Public Safety; and Developmental and Mental Health Services. Also on the panel will be representatives of the Governor's office and the Administration Agency. The court Administrator and up to three judges can serve, as well as a member of each the Vermont House and the Senate.




© 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