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.
Child Care Funding: The Story Since 1996, The Challenges in Reauthorization (March 2003); The Center for Law and Social Policy.