By: Scott Johnson
“The research is clear that children who have high-quality early learning and development opportunities experience greater success in school, relationships and life. This not only benefits the children; it’s economically beneficial for our society as a whole.” – Let’s Grow Kids
Children need high quality environments that are rich in love, learning and literacy – whether that experience is at home with a parent, with kin or a neighbor, or at one of our many great child care providers in Lamoille Valley.
Since 2000, Vermont has gathered information on the readiness of children entering kindergarten by surveying kindergarten teachers about their students’ knowledge and skills within the first six to ten weeks of school. The effort to measure school readiness is a collaborative project of the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), the Department for Children and Families, and the Department of Health. (Various surveys for assessing schools’ readiness have been conducted since this effort began.) After extensive expert review, the new Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) has been adopted.
There are many interpretations of what constitutes “school readiness.” Vermont’s concept of children’s readiness is multidimensional and includes:
- social and emotional development
- physical health
- cognitive development and knowledge
- approaches to learning (e.g., enthusiasm for learning, persistence, curiosity).
Vermont’s concept also reflects the belief that “school readiness” is interactional: children need to be ready for schools, and schools need to be ready to accommodate the diverse needs of each and every child.
The 2015-16 Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) marks the deployment of a new survey instrument, changes in scoring methods, and criteria used for identification of students as “ready.” The survey also includes new and revised questions, including six in the physical development and health domain.
The R4K!S is not a direct assessment of children; rather it relies on the teacher’s accumulated observational knowledge of the child developed during the first few weeks of kindergarten.”
If you’re interested, click here to read the report.
Helping Your Child Be Ready
Parents and caregivers play a critical role in their child’s development. It’s important to offer children opportunities to learn, grow, and be capable every day. Creating environments that are literacy rich, full of adult-to-child interactions, are socially interactive with peers, and that attend to healthy habits are important ingredients to kindergarten readiness.
Here are some of my favorite resources to help:
I Can Teach My Child – “33 Ways To Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten.”
Let’s Grow Kids: A great resource to learn more about the importance of the early years.
The Lamoille Family Center is committed to working with our partners to encourage, educate and celebrate families so we realize the promise of every child. For more information about the Lamoille Family Center call 888-5229 or visit our website at http://www.lamoillefamilycenter.org.
Scott Johnson is Executive Director of the Lamoille Family Center and has worked in Lamoille Valley in human services and education for nearly his entire career. The Family Center has served our community by encouraging, educating and celebrating children, youth and families for forty years.
Scott writes about early care and education, adolescent development and strengthening families that improve conditions of well-being.