Performance Improvement 2013-2014. Are there Particular School Readiness Skills or a Level of Development that Children Need to Attain in Early Childhood in Order to Meet Later Measures of Success?


Through a review of the literature and secondary analysis of data, the In the Running for Successful Outcomes project aimed to examine whether there are particular skills, levels of school readiness, or trajectories of development that children need to attain in early childhood to be successful in later schooling. What do children need to know and be able to do at the start of school to be in the running for long term success?

There was no evidence of thresholds in school readiness skills above which children showed more rapid acquisition of skills during the school years. There was evidence, however, that entry skill levels predicted the level of skills during the school years. Overall, the school readiness skills with which a child enters school do seem to matter in terms of level and rate of acquisition of academic and social skills during elementary school. These findings suggest that improving children's school readiness skills will benefit them no matter where they may be on the continuum. Children do not need to reach the national average for achievement in order to be “in the running” for later school success, but the better a child's skills are when he or she enters school, the better his or her skills are likely to be in elementary school and beyond.

Report Title: In the Running for Successful Outcomes
Agency Sponsor: OASPE, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Laura Radel, 202-690-5938
Performer: Child Trends
Record ID: 9539 (April 1, 2012)

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