The concept of school readiness has been defined and redefined over the years. School readiness refers to the developmental status of children at the time of school entry (i.e., kindergarten) with an emphasis on skills and dispositions that affect later academic success in school. A common thread in definitions of school readiness is that it is multidimensional, including a shared focus on cognitive/preacademic, communication, and social-emotional learning.

Efforts to address school readiness are longstanding. Head Start was founded in 1965 with the hope that early intervention could provide children living in high poverty the “head start” they needed to be successful in kindergarten. While the original design of that early intervention did not have intended outcomes, decades of research confirm that the path to children’s success ...

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