New Study Shows Only 4 Out of 10 Preschoolers are Prepared for Kindergarten

April 05, 2021

School Readiness Measures Reveals that 3-5 Year Olds Need More Support 

Healthy and Ready to Learn (HRL) is a new initiative which examines the level of kindergarten readiness of preschoolers. A recent study published Academics Pediatrics focusing on HRL made a troubling discovery, only 42.2% of American children ages 3-5 years were considered prepared for kindergarten across all measured domains. To come to this conclusion, the study’s authors used a cross sectional analysis of the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, a parent-reported survey. The study measured 18 different items across four domains. These domains included: early learning skills, social-emotional development, self-regulation, and physical well-being and motor development. Each item and domain were scored according to age-specific standards. The cohort children were either classified as “on track”, “needs support”, or “high risk”. While the research’s main finding was disconcerting, the study wasn’t filled with only bad news.  The research discovered that 85.5% of the preschoolers were “on track” in physical well-being. Additionally, about 80% were considered “on track” in both social-emotional development and self-regulation. However, only 58.4% of the cohort was on “on track” for early learning skills. The study’s authors found that sociodemographic differences did not play a significant role in the HRL results. Instead, health, family, neighborhood factors (i.e., special health care needs status/type, parental mental health, reading, singing and storytelling, screen time, adverse childhood experiences, and neighborhood amenities) were connected to HRL levels.

Original Study Abstract

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