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.

 







 


Americaís Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2007 (2007). Washington, DC: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.


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Americaís Kindergartners: Findings from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99, Fall 1998 (December 2000). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics.

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Building a Better System of Child and Family Indicators (1999). Washington, DC: Child Trends.

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Building Their Futures: How Early Head Start Programs Are Enhancing the Lives of Infants and Toddlers in Low-Income Families, Summary Report (January 2001). Washington, DC: Administration for Children, Youth and Families, Department of Health and Human Services.

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Building Services and Systems to Support the Healthy Emotional Development of Young Children: An Action Guide for Policymakers (2001). New York, NY: Jane Knitzer, National Center for Children in Poverty.

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Building Your Babyís Brain: A Parentís Guide to the First Five Years (1999). Washington, DC: Teaching Strategies, Inc.

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Caring for Infants and Toddlers: Executive Summary (Spring/Summer 2001). Los Altos, CA: The Future of Children, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

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Childrenís Reading and Mathematics Achievement in Kindergarten and First Grade (March 2002). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics.

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The Condition of Education 2001 in Brief (September 2001). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics.

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The Condition of Education 2002 (June 2002). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics.

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Entering Kindergarten: A Portrait of American Children When They Begin School in The Condition of Education 2000 (2000). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

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Fostering Language and Literacy in Classrooms and Homes (March 2002). In Young Children vol. 57 no. 2. Washington, DC: David Dickinson and Patton Tabors, National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development (2000). Washington, DC: Jack P. Shonkoff and Deborah A. Phillips eds., National Academy Press.

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A Good Beginning: Sending Americanís Children to School With the Social and Emotional Competence They Need to Succeed (2000). Bethesda, MD: The Child Mental Health Foundations and Agencies Network (FAN).

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Good Start, Grow Smart: The Bush Administrationís Early Childhood Initiative (2002).

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Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention, Second Edition (2000). Cambridge, UK: Jack P. Shonkoff and Samuel Meisels eds., Cambridge University Press.

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Handbook of Early Literacy Research (2001). Neuman, S.B. and Dickinson, D.K. (eds.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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Improving the Odds for the Healthy Development of Young Children in Foster Care (2001). New York, NY: Sheryl Dicker, Elysa Gordon, and Jane Knitzer, National Center for Children in Poverty.

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Intergenerational Transfer of Literacy (January 1996). Commissioned paper for Family Literacy: Directions in Research and Implications for Practice. Washington, DC: Catherine Snow and Patton Tabors, U.S. Department of Education.

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An Investment in Our Future: A Shared Vision for School Readiness in Kansas (September 2001) Topeka, KS: The Kansas Childrenís Cabinet and Trust Fund.

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The Kindergarten Year: Findings from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (December 2000). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics.

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Making Dollars Follow Sense: Financing Early Childhood Mental Health Services to Promote Healthy Social and Emotional Development in Young Children (August 2002). New York, NY: Kay Johnson, Jane Knitzer and Roxane Kaufmann, National Center for Children in Poverty.

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Making a Difference in the Lives of Infants and Toddlers and Their Families: The Impacts of Early Head Start (June 2002). Washington, DC: Administration for Children, Youth and Families, Department of Health and Human Services.

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Map and Track: State Initiatives for Young Children and Families 2000 Edition (2000). New York, NY: Nancy K. Cauthen, Jane Knitzer, and Carol H. Ripple, National Center for Children in Poverty.

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Mental Health Services for Children: An Overview (June 2002). Washington, DC: Holly Kenny, Leah Oliver and Julie Poppe, National Conference of State Legislatures.

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No Child Left Behind Policy Brief: Literacy (2002). Denver, CO: Kristie Kauerz, Education Commission of the States.

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Off to a Good Start: Research on the Risk Factors for Early School Problems and Selected Federal Policies Affecting Childrenís Social and Emotional Development and Their Readiness for School (2000). Bethesda, MD: The Child Mental Health Foundations and Agencies Network (FAN).

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Principles and Recommendations for Early Childhood Assessments (February 1998). Washington, DC: Lorrie Shepard, Sharon Lynn Kagan and Emily Wurtz eds., Goal 1 Childhood Assessments Resource Group of the National Education Goals Panel.

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Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read (September 2001). Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy.

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© 2005, School Readiness Indicators Initiative
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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