Kindergarten Readiness: Every Child Should Be Prepared for School

Why Is It Important?

Decades of research by economists, neuroscientists, and educators prove that investments in the first five years – including high-quality preschool – result in long-term gains for students in their academic career and life. Students who show up ready for kindergarten are more likely to read on grade level and continue a success academic career. If we want to improve outcomes for generations, fix our talent pipeline, strengthen our schools and communities, and produce long-term, meaningful savings to taxpayers, we have to invest in making sure that our children have a solid start. We need our children to show up ready for kindergarten.

The path to career success starts not in preschool but in the womb, boosting prospects for happy, healthy children who will be ready to learn in preschool and advance in kindergarten. The community has made strides in kindergarten readiness, but we’re not nearly where we want to be. Part of getting there requires helping parents rear healthier children.

As part of an Every Child Capital initiative, StrivePartnership has teamed up with Design Impact (DI) to co-produce with mothers nontraditional pathways to draw more of them into prenatal care.

Working with mothers in economically distressed communities, DI facilitated the creation of five prototypes to drive greater participation:

  • PMS (Potential Mom Syndicate), creating an Every Child Succeeds presence at community events and at social service locations.
  • Party Like a Mom, a guerilla marketing campaign to insert messages at bars and clubs.
  • Empowering convenience store and pharmacy owners to provide information and materials about healthy pregnancies.
  • My Pregnancy Companion app that anonymously connects pregnant women with mentors.
  • Direct cash payments for moms who attend scheduled pre- and post-natal appointments.


Design Impact Co-Founder Ramsey Ford said the ideas sprang directly from meetings with women in their first trimester of pregnancy, social service providers and professionals. They relied on existing providers Every Child Succeeds and Helping Moms and Babes. “The focus was really getting the voice of the moms and the case workers heard,” he said.

Every Child Capital (ECC), a venture philanthropy fund supported by local funders through StrivePartnership, provided funding to help find expectant mothers. “The prototype work will allow us to test certain interventions with expecting moms, and that will ensure our final, larger investment will be most effective,” ECC Founder and Cincinnati City Council Member Greg Landsman.

Kindergarten Readiness

The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) is administered to Cincinnati students and the Brigance Assessment is administered to Covington and Newport students. They are different assessments but both measure areas of early learning developement across multiple domains.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Covington, Kentucky

Newport, Kentucky

All data as of December 17, 2018