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 on a successful academic journey. If we want to improve outcomes for generations, increase our talent resources, 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.

Partnership Profile

Entering its fifth year, Every Child Capital (ECC), a venture philanthropy fund focused on improving early literacy that was launched by StrivePartnership, entered into its second deal, which will reach out to expecting mothers in economically distressed communities to connect them with prenatal care and home supports for their children. As part this deal, StrivePartnership teamed up with Design Impact (DI) to co-produce with mothers some nontraditional pathways to drive greater participation.

The ECC model provides seed funding to scale what works, and then identifies a public payor benefitting from the scaled initiative to assume the cost going forward. The State of Ohio, which supports this type of funding model, is developing a “rate card” through the Ohio Department of Health that will reimburse the fund if the outcomes delineated on the rates cards are met. This innovative partnership follows ECC’s first deal, which paired the local Reach Out and Read program with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Families visiting one of 23 participating healthcare clinics receive advice and guidance on why and how they should read with their children, and the children are enrolled in Imagination Library to receive one book every month from birth to their fifth birthday.

ECC, which was established in 2014, is one of two major initiatives launched by StrivePartnership to help our children be more prepared for kindergarten. The first was Cincinnati Preschool Promise in 2011, which was approved by tax payers as part of a Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) new money levy in 2017. It promises two years of quality preschool for all three- and four-year-old children in Cincinnati, beginning with those families most in need. Funding provides tuition credits for families as well as supports for preschool providers to achieve a high-quality rating (3 or more stars) from the state.

Kindergarten Readiness Data Definitions

The Ohio 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 development across multiple domains.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Covington, Kentucky

Newport, Kentucky

View this data as an interactive data report.

All data as of December 17, 2018

2017-18 Outcomes data for Newport Kentucky districts is not currently available and will be updated as the data are released on the Kentucky Department of Education data portal.