School absenteeism through the transition to kindergarten
Using nationally representative data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 Cohort (n = 2,798), this study examined patterns of absenteeism and their consequences through the transition to kindergarten. Overall, children were less likely to be absent in kindergarten than from Head Start at ages 3 and 4. Absenteeism was fairly stable across these early years, but children who experienced two years of Head Start were less likely to be absent in kindergarten than their classmates who only attended the program for one year. Ultimately, absenteeism at both ages 3 and 4 was associated with lower math and literacy achievement. However, children who experienced two years of Head Start and were more frequently absent demonstrated greater language development through the end of kindergarten as compared with children who only attended the program for one year. Policy implications are discussed in light of the complexity of early childhood education attendance in the United States. (author abstract)
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