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An evaluation of graduates of a toddlerhood home visiting program at kindergarten age

In the winter and spring of 2002, 135 kindergartners in five Long Island school districts received a battery of tests focusing on 2 interrelated areas of school readiness: social-emotional skills such as the ability to follow teachers' directions and early literacy skills such as knowledge about books and about the alphabet. In addition, keeping in mind the recommendation of the National Education Goals Panel with regard to school readiness, parents were interviewed about their participation in and support of children's learning at home and at school. Children who had participated in PCHP at ages 2 and 3 were compared, at kindergarten age, with classmates who had not been in the program. Preliminary analyses revealed that PCHP graduates were different from their classmates on a number of variables, however. Specifically, children who participated in PCHP were more likely to have parents who were less educated, more likely to be Latino, and more likely to have parents who worked less hours per week for pay. While there were areas in which the two groups were similar-such as family size, likelihood of parents being married, and parents' age-the areas in which the groups were different each represent risk factors for school failure. Low parental education, immigrant status, and poverty are additive risk factors with regard to children's school readiness, such that children who have all three characteristics are at greater risk than children who have two or one. Further, while these are risks that we have defined, they are likely to be concomitant risks that we haven't defined, such as substandard housing and less health care. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
State(s)/Territories/Tribal Nation(s):
New York

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