America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being

Posted by on August 05, 2013

Preschool: vindicated

New federal data show that children who receive early childcare beyond parents or relatives perform better in reading and math in kindergarten than those cared for only at home, reports Sarah Sparks in Education Week. The report from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics includes 41 key indicators across seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances and health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. This year’s report included a special section on kindergartners’ reading, math, and science achievement, as well as approaches to learning, using data from the ongoing federal Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of children who started kindergarten in 2010-11. As expected, kindergartners from households with incomes near and below the federal poverty line had lower reading, math, and science scores than children from households with incomes at least 200 percent of the poverty level. The data also show that students with both parents working full-time or one full- and one part-time had higher math and reading scores than those with only one parent working. The gap between children who attended preschool with a non-relative and those who did not, and the gap between children with two versus one working parent, had not entirely closed by the end of the child’s kindergarten year.

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