Every child is prepared to enter school.
Why it matters
The Mayo Clinic reports that, "Kindergarten marks the start of a child's formal education. A child's first school experiences can influence the way he or she relates to others for the rest of life. For example, success or failure at this stage can affect a child's well-being, self-esteem and motivation. As a result, it's important to make sure that when your child begins school he or she is developmentally ready to learn and participate in classroom activities."
It is important that children are ready for kindergarten. However, there is no national standard for kindergarten readiness; states independently define what it means and determine how it will be measured. Generally, kindergarten readiness encompasses skills and capacities around a set of developmental domains, including some combination of language and literacy, cognitive and math, physical health and motor skills, social-emotional development, and approaches to learning.
In Wisconsin, no single (core) indicator is used to measure kindergarten readiness. Milwaukee Succeeds used to track the previously state-mandated Phonological Awareness Literacy Screener (PALS) assessment. PALS is not a comprehensive assessment of overall school readiness, but provided some gauge of early fundamental reading skills acquisition. However, the state of Wisconsin no longer mandates that districts use this particular screener; each district can choose its preferred literacy screening tool. As a result, DPI no longer collects literacy screening data. Without a core indicator, we have chosen to track two other contributing indicators related to early childhood.
- Quality early child care
- Immunization rates
Want even more data? Explore the Kids Count Data Center
Our work towards this goal
Milwaukee Succeeds’ Kindergarten Readiness Partnership is working to ensure that all children in the City of Milwaukee are prepared to strive to their fullest potential when they enter grade school. In order to make this a reality, we are focusing holistically on the myriad of needs that our youngest residence and their families have.
Our partnership works to ensure this by promoting the following evidence-based practices (click on each to learn more):
- Quality Early Care & Education
- Early Childhood Immunization
- Developmental Screening
- Social and Emotional Development