ERIC Number: ED389475
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
School Readiness and Children's Developmental Status. ERIC Digest.
Zill, Nicholas; And Others
In order to provide data to help schools respond to the diversity in the backgrounds and educational needs of children entering school, a U.S. Department of Education study asked parents of 3- to 5-year-old children who had not yet started kindergarten about their children's accomplishments that indicated emerging literacy and numeracy skills and their children's difficulties in physical activity or attention. Results indicated that the percentage of children displaying signs of emerging literacy and small-motor skills increased with age. Developmental difficulties showed small changes across ages. More girls than boys demonstrated literacy and small-motor skills. This gender difference was small, however. Hispanic preschoolers showed fewer signs of emerging literacy, exhibited more difficulties with physical activity or attention, and were in less good general health than white or black children. The study identified five family risk factors: (1) mother has less than a high school education; (2) family is below the poverty line; (3) mother speaks a language other than English as her primary language; (4) mother was unmarried at the time of the child's birth; and (5) only one parent is present in the home. These risk factors, especially low maternal education and minority language status, were found to be associated with fewer accomplishments and more difficulties in children. Attending Head Start, prekindergarten, or other center-based preschool programs have beneficial effects on emerging literacy and numeracy in four-year-olds from both high- and low-risk family backgrounds. However, preschool attendance does not appear to ameliorate behavioral, speech, or health difficulties of preschoolers. (BC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.