Kindergarten Readiness = Success

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Every year, between 40 and 70% of Utah children enter kindergarten unprepared to learn. Kindergarten readiness is one of the major predicting factor to school success and to success later in life. Every year, between 40 and 70% of Utah children enter kindergarten unprepared to learn. Kindergarten readiness is one of the major predicting factors to school success and to success later in life. Did you know that if a child enters kindergarten unprepared to learn that his chances of either repeating a grade, dropping out of high school, or going to prison increase dramatically? And that he is 3 times less likely to be financially independent as an adult? Not only that, but children who are behind hinder the teacher's ability to effectively help other students reach their full potential.

According to a research study done by the Santa Clara County in California, after tracking results of school readiness for seven years, from 2001 to 2008, the findings were that "Children who enter kindergarten near‐proficient across all readiness skills perform significantly better on standardized tests in English and math in third, fourth, and fifth grades than do children of different readiness profiles."


Some other interesting findings were:

  1. that the 20 readiness skills consistently sort into four basic building blocks:
    • Self-Care & Motor Skills
    • Self-Regulation
    • Social Expression
    • Kindergarten Academics
  2. Students who started out ahead on kindergarten readiness scores stayed ahead, while students who started out behind in kindergarten remained behind up through the 5th grade.
  3. Although the gaps narrowed in the higher grades, children who began kindergarten unprepared were still being outscored by their peers who started out ahead, even as late as the fifth grade.
  4. Proficiency on kindergarten academics skills showed to be the strongest predictor of later test scores in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Children who scored high on kindergarten academics and who were also high in Social-Expression demonstrated the biggest boost in achievement.

They also found that even "though kindergarten academics has the strongest associations with higher test scores, the solution is not drilling children on their letters and numbers at ever earlier ages," but rather to take "extra efforts to boost critical readiness skills during the summer prior to kindergarten" to "better position children for academic success." This is why some kind of preschool program the summer prior to kindergarten has shown to be the best way to prepare a child for kindergarten.

The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project is another famous study that followed 123 three and four year old high-risk African American children until the age of 27, and then analyzed the findings. They found that for every one dollar spent on early childhood education and prevention services, taxpayers actually saved $7.16 that would have been spent later on remedial educational services such as special education services, youth detention, and even prison.

A summary of the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project can be found in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's October 2000 issue of the Juvenile Justice Bulletin . It states that "nearly 40 years ago, the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project developed a high-quality educational approach focusing on 3- and 4-year-olds at risk for school failure. The longitudinal study has found that not only was the project effective as an educational intervention, it also demonstrated other positive outcomes, including a significantly lower rate of crime and delinquency and a lower incidence of teenage pregnancy and welfare dependency. By the age of 27, program participants were nearly three times as likely to own their own homes than the control group and less than half as likely to be receiving public assistance."

This shows that there is a very strong correlation between kindergarten readiness and success; not just academic success, but long term success.

Another thing to consider is that just sending your child to preschool isn't enough. Parental involvement is crucial to determining if a child will be ready for learning. Some key indicators to academic success and kindergarten readiness are that:

  • Parents have high but not unrealistic expectations for their children's success and future
  • The child's home environment encourages learning
  • Parents are actively involved in their childs learning process.
Parents must take an active part in their childs education, and Ready!Set!School! provides an easy way for you to do this in just a few minutes each day during your child's preschool years. Ready!Set!School! Can be used as a home preschool curriculum, or it can be used as a supplement to a traditional preschool program. For parents who are using it as a home preschool program, it is very important to make sure that your child gets plenty of social activities where he can learn to share and play with others. See the playgroups section of for tips on using Ready!Set!School! as part of a playgroup.



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