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.


Head Start Reauthorization: Enhancing School Readiness for Hispanic Children. (May 2005).The National Council of La Raza.

Click here to read this publication.
Serving America's Youngest: A Snapshot of Early Head Start Children, Families, Teachers, and Programs in 2002 (June 2003); The Center for Lae and Social Policy.
Click here to read this publication.

Low-Income Children in the United States (2003); The National Center for Children in Poverty.
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Quality Child Care for Infants and Toddlers: Case Studies of Three Community Strategies (April 2003).
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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