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.



The Better Baby Care Campaign

The Better Baby Care Campaign is a national effort to improve the care of infants and toddlers. provides information about how the brain works and how people learn. Library topics include child development, early reading, language, and learning.


The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning is a national center focused on strengthening the capacity of Child Care and Head Start to improve the social and emotional outcomes of young children.


The Chapin Hall Center for Children

The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago is a research and development center focusing on policies, practices, and programs affecting children and the families and communities in which they live.


Child Care Action Campaign

Child Care Action Campaign is a leading voice and national resource advocating quality, affordable child care for all families.


The Child Care Bureau

The Child Care Bureau is dedicated to enhancing the quality, affordability, and availability of child care for all families. The Child Care Bureau administers federal funds to states, territories, and tribes to assist low-income families in accessing quality child care for children when the parents work or participate in education or training.


Child Trends

Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to studying children, youth, and families through research, data collection, and data analyses.


Child Trends Data Bank

Child Trends Data Bank is designed to be a one-stop shop for trend data on child well-being, with over 70 indicators, and new indicators added each month. The site focuses on national data, but supplies brief descriptions and links to state, local, and international estimates when they are available. It also provides links to relevant research and government reports available on the web.


Child Welfare League of America

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is an association of more than 1,100 public and private nonprofit agencies that assist over 3.5 million abused and neglected children and their families each year with a wide range of services.


The Children's Defense Fund

The mission of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is to Leave No Child Behind® and to ensure every child a Healthy Start, Head Start, Fair Start, Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides information and advocacy on a wide range of children's issues.


Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS)

The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) Program provides national data on children's status at birth and at various points thereafter; children's transitions to non-parental care, early education programs, and school; and children's experiences and growth through the fifth grade. ECLS also provides data to test hypotheses about the effects of a wide range of family, school, community and individual variables on children's development, early learning and early performance in school.


Education Commission of the States (ECS)

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) is an interstate compact created in 1965 to improve public education by facilitating the exchange of information, ideas and experiences among state policymakers and education leaders.


ECS Online Interactive Pre-kindergarten Database

The Education Commission of the States� Online Interactive Pre-kindergarten Database provides state-by-state information and comparisons on pre-k programs, including funding, history, staff requirements and eligibility.


Education Week Quality Counts 2002: Building Blocks for Success

This national report by Education Week highlights state efforts in early childhood education. Data is provided for each state on access, funding, standards, teacher quality, and school readiness and assessment.


Family Voices

Families Voices is comprised of families from throughout the United States who have children with special health needs as well as caregivers, professionals, and friends whose lives have been touched by these children and their families.


The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

This site offers easy access to federal and state statistics and reports on children and their families, including: population and family characteristics, economic security, health, behavior and social environment, and education. Publications include America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being.



FedStats provides national data on a broad range of issues from more than 70 federal agencies.


The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute is a multidisciplinary organization for the study of young children and their families. Major research topics include factors promoting optimal outcomes for children with disabilities and those at risk for school failure, poverty and other factors affecting early childhood development, children's health issues, family development, child care quality and its effect on development, inclusion, and issues for individuals with disabilities across the lifespan.


The Future of Children

The primary purpose of The Future of Children is to promote effective policies and programs for children by providing policymakers, service providers, and the media with timely, objective information based on the best available research.



KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. By providing policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children.


The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the nation's largest organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of programs for children from birth through third grade.


The National Association of Child Advocates (NACA)

NACA is devoted to building the capacity of state and local child advocacy organizations.


The National Center for Children in Poverty

The National Center for Children in Poverty's mission is to identify and promote strategies that prevent child poverty in the United States and that improve the lives of low-income children and their families.


The National Education Goals Panel

The National Education Goals Panel was an independent executive branch agency of the federal government charged with monitoring national and state progress toward the National Education Goals. The Panel was charged with a variety of responsibilities to support system-wide reform.


The National Institute for Literacy

The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) is a federal organization that shares information about literacy and supports the development of high-quality literacy services so all Americans can develop essential basic skills.


The National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education

The Early Childhood Institute (ECI) sponsors comprehensive and challenging research in order to help ensure that America's young children are successful in school and beyond -- and to enhance their quality of life and that of their families.


The National Survey of America�s Families

The National Survey of America's Families provides a comprehensive look at the well-being of adults and children and reveals sometimes striking differences among the 13 states studied in depth. The survey provides quantitative measures of the quality of life in America, paying particular attention to low-income families. Publications include Snapshots of America�s Families.


The Ounce of Prevention Fund

The Ounce of Prevention Fund invests in the healthy development of infants, children, adolescents and families through an innovative cycle of program implementation, research, training, policy analysis and advocacy in order to prevent physical, social and emotional problems later in life.



ReadyWeb is an electronic collection of resources on school readiness sponsored by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


Smart Start

Smart Start is North Carolina's nationally recognized and award-winning early childhood initiative designed to ensure that young children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.


U.S. Department of Education: Early Childhood

The U.S. Department of Education�s early childhood resources page offers information on federal programs, initiatives, and research. Information is provided on the Good Start, Grow Smart program, the Early Reading First program, and the White House Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development.


Wellesley Child Care Research Partnership

The Wellesley Child Care Research Partnership brings together child care researchers, state and local child care administrators, agencies, specialists, and others to carry out research that improves social welfare and child care policy and the way in which that policy is administered.


Yale Child Study Center

The Yale Child Study Center provides information and research children�s issues and offers clinical services on a broad range of children�s special health needs.



ZERO TO THREE's mission is to promote the healthy development of our nation's infants and toddlers by supporting and strengthening families, communities, and those who work on their behalf.



© 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