Santa Rosa, CA – April 10, 2018 – Attendance
at preschool, parental education levels, the language spoken at home are
significant factors in Sonoma County children’s readiness for learning when
they enter kindergarten, according to the 2017-18 survey overseen by the Road
to Early Achievement and Development for Youth (READY) program.
Research shows that young children’s readiness for
school is significant because the
transition to kindergarten lays the foundation for future academic outcomes.
Preparing children in all areas of school readiness contributes to long-term
success in school.
Of the 1,647 children in this year's study,only two of five local
kindergarteners started school with the social, developmental and academic
skills needed for readiness, a finding that has remained consistent for three
years. While 44% of children from English-speaking households did meet the
kindergarten readiness measure, only 29% of children from Spanish-speaking
households met the criteria. However, over the past two years, the number of
children from Spanish-speaking homes ready to enter kindergarten increased by
six percentage points.
"This year's findings indicate that the racial disparity
in kindergarten readiness is decreasing," said Angie Dillon-Shore,
Director of First 5. "But it's not time to celebrate yet. There is still
work to do to ensure that every child in our communities has access to rich
early learning opportunities."
a mother of two young children, I know the value of early learning
opportunities,” says Fifth District County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, a member
of the First Five Commission. “I hope we can increase access to quality early
educational programs, especially for our low income and Latino families.”
outcomes and readiness factors are similar to findings in national research
about school readiness. The Sonoma County program is funded by First 5 Sonoma
County and managed by the Sonoma County Human Services Department Upstream
annual survey, the Kindergarten Student Entrance Profile, found that the
language spoken and the frequency of reading to children at home made for
differences in school readiness. The Profile is a universal screening measure used to assess children’s readiness for
at preschool or transitional kindergarten significantly helped children get
ready to perform well at school. Transitional kindergarten programs enroll children who have their
fifth birthday between September 2 and December 2, so are only four when the
kindergarten semester begins.
Of the children in the survey, 85% had been in preschool, transitional kindergarten
and/or licensed home-based childcare before entering kindergarten. Children
that attended an early learning program were twice as likely to meet readiness
standards when starting kindergarten. The 19% increase in the readiness of
Spanish-speaking children could be linked with the rise in their attendance at
early learning programs than three years ago (from 64% in 2015 to 76% in 2017).
study suggests that more programs for Spanish-speaking families that include
activities involving reading, storytelling and music would make a positive
impact on local children. In addition, both children and parents would benefit
if the adults had more access to quality educational opportunities throughout
2013, the READY project has conducted research to support the pilot and
adoption of a common kindergarten readiness assessment throughout Sonoma County
2017-18 study assessed 1,647 kindergarten students in partnership with 10
Sonoma County school districts and more than 88 kindergarten teachers. An
additional parent survey also gathered information on the early learning
experiences of 1,080 of these children.