School Readiness

Head Start defines school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning and life. It means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children's learning, and schools are ready for children.

School readiness goals articulate the program's expectations of children's status and progress across the five essential domains of child development and early learning that will improve children's readiness for kindergarten. These domains include (1) Social & Emotional Development, (2) Perceptual, Motor & Physical Development, (3) Cognition & General Knowledge, (4) Language & Literacy, (5) Approaches to Learning.

School readiness goals are developed by aggregating and analyzing child assessment data.

School Readiness Goals for Early Head Start and Head Start

Social & Emotional Development

  • Infants and young toddlers will seek comfort from familiar adults to learn to manage emotions.

  • Toddlers will begin to show confidence in their abilities and seek out caregiver’s response.

  • Children will engage in and maintains positive relations and interactions with adults

  • Children will engage in prosocial and cooperative behavior with adults.

Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development

  • Infants will explore new body positions such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, hitting or kicking objects to achieve goal

  • Young toddlers will demonstrate eye-hand coordination when stacking objects or pincher grasp activities.

  • Toddlers will demonstrate fine motor muscle control by using tools such as spoons, paint, brushes or markers.

  • Toddlers will begin to develop independence in self-care, such as washing hands, drinking from a cup or brushing teeth with assistance.

  • Children will demonstrate control, strength, and coordination of large muscles.

  • Children will demonstrate personal hygiene and self-care skills.

Cognition & General Knowledge

  • Infants and toddlers will explore the concept of cause and effect.

  • Toddlers will begin to explore problem solving activities.

  • Children will know number names and the count sequence.

  • Children will understand simple patterns.

Language & Literacy

  • Infants will attend to, understand and respond to communication.(Facial expressions, gestures and words).

  • Toddlers will begin to understand words and speak in simple sentences.

  • Children will understand and respond to increasingly complex communication and language from others.

  • Children will understand and use a wide variety of words for a variety of purposes.

Approaches to Learning

  • Infants and young toddlers will seek comfort from familiar adults to learn to manage emotions.

  • Toddlers will explore new learning skills and persist in their efforts with adult guidance.

  • Children will persist in tasks.

  • Children will use imagination in play and interactions with others.

Program Goals to Support School Readiness

  • Ensure the fiscal & management systems are current and effective.

  • Make data collection and evaluations, using existing technology, a priority across all service areas.

  • ​Ensure that the health and nutrition needs of all children are identified and met for optimum learning and school readiness.

  • Ensure Parent, Family and Community Engagement through activities that are grounded in positive, ongoing, and goal-oriented relationships with families.

  • Strengthen collaboration with school districts and other community agencies to define school readiness and develop common goals to ensure successful transitions.

  • Increase staff competencies through the provision of effective professional development.

  • Continue to infuse the CLASS guidelines and expectations across all service areas.