School Readiness does not start at age 4 – it is developed over time in the first five years of life. The responsibility for getting children ready for school lies with parents and early education providers. To come to school ready to learn, children must be in good physical health, have experienced positive social and emotional development, have participated in activities that promote language & early literacy development and math development, and grown in an environment that supported physical well-being and motor development. Research shows that the earlier children receive treatment for health concerns and developmental delays, the better their outcomes. But it is not the screening itself that is the most important to achieve positive outcomes – follow-up with additional evaluation and intervention is required to effect change.
Knowing their ABCs and 123s is not enough for a child to be ready for school. Children entering school should be ready to take care of themselves and work independently. They must be ready to make friends, solve problems with others, and show empathy. Children should have had experiences through play to become confident learners.
Preschool attendance can be a tool to promote school readiness. At-risk children participating in high quality preschool are more likely to score well on school achievement tests, complete high school, be employed, and have higher median monthly incomes. At-risk children participating in high quality preschool are less likely to be arrested for crimes and spend less time in jail/prison.
Our priorities for this result:
Prevention, early detection, and identification of child health issues.
We will support and facilitate screening and follow-up of health, developmental, and/or behavioral obstacles for children. This includes toxic childhood stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
We will support preventive health services including well-child care, healthy nutrition, physical exercise, and dental care and important factors to increase school readiness.
Strengthen the transition to kindergarten.
We will work to facilitate connections among schools, early childhood providers, and families.
Through those connections, we will strengthen the alignment of curriculum and expectations between early childhood and K-12 education systems and support best practices in early education environments and kindergarten classrooms.
Current funded programs that address this result:
JCPH Dental Voucher Program
RVAP Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Trainings
United Action For Youth/UI College of Nursing Health Home Visitation