Research has made it clear that a child’s first years shape his or her whole lives. Children who enter kindergarten well, healthy and ready to learn are more likely to be academically successful, more likely to graduate from high school and more likely to go on to post-secondary training or college.
The opportunities and resources that infants and young children are able to connect to in the community, from parks and museums to child care centers and pediatricians, have a major impact on how well prepared they are for kindergarten.
Active play, nutritious food and regular medical care help keep children’s bodies and brains healthy. Interactions with caring adults and opportunities for learning are also important.
Alamance Achieves will track two core indicators:
- Immunizations. This data, which is available for all county children, is a proxy for whether or not young children are receiving regular medical care. Those who do get regular check-ups are also likely to be receiving screenings for hearing, vision, cognitive and emotional development.
- Kindergarten readiness. Alamance-Burlington School System has implemented a new kindergarten readiness assessment for the 2016-2017 school year. This assessment provides data that indicates how well prepared children are for school.
These core indicators will be used, over time, to assess how fast Alamance Achieves is achieving its goal of every child being well, healthy and ready for school.
In addition to these core indicators, Alamance Achieves teams will also collect data to help illuminate other factors in our community that contribute to children being ready for school. These contributing indicators include:
- Well child visits to pediatricians
- Prenatal care
- Access to high quality pre-K
- Number of children waiting for subsidized care
- Percent of children identified with special needs
- Maternal education
- Licensed and regulated child care providers