Research Findings: The amount of time and type of program that children experience in early childhood settings may be associated with children’s kindergarten-entry skills, or kindergarten readiness. Taking a person-centered perspective, in the present study, we examined the extent to which reliable and unique profiles of early childhood experiences among a heterogeneous group of preschool children could be identified (N = 422). Based on parent reports of children’s early education experiences in the year before kindergarten, three distinct profiles were identified. The three groups (Part-Time Head Start, Public Preschool and Other Care Programs, and Full-Time Head Start) significantly differed based on family and child characteristics. Children in the Public Preschool and Other Care Programs profile resided in families with greater maternal educational levels and incomes, and were more likely to be white than children in the other profiles. However, differences in children’s kindergarten readiness by profile were not observed. Practice or Policy: Findings suggest that time spent in different care arrangements was not associated with children’s kindergarten readiness. It is important for future work to examine other factors, such as quality of care, that may promote children’s learning across settings. (author abstract)
Profiles of preschool attendance and children’s kindergarten readiness
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