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Knowledge From the Field

Linking Ready Kids to Ready Schools: Building Policy on State and Community Successes

Published: May 2009

Publisher(s): W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Funder(s): W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Related Organization(s): Children's Leadership Council, Education Commission of the States, Learning First Alliance, Voices for America's Children

View Report (10 pages; 198KB; PDF)

Area of focus: Early Learning


The report provides a summary of recommendations from, “Call to Action,” the first national forum to focus on the dual needs of preparing children for school and preparing schools for children.  Co-sponsored by the Education Commission of the States, Voices for America’s Children, the Children’s Leadership Council, and select members of the Learning First Alliance, more than 200 educators and child advocates came together to develop policies to link ready kids to ready schools and set America’s youngest learners on a path to lifelong achievement. 

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+ For every dollar spent on school readiness programs, the return is ten-fold in the form of reduced welfare costs, fewer health care costs, and less crime.

+ Children in early childhood programs are more likely to score higher in reading and math, graduate from high school and attend college, hold a job and earn more while doing it.

= Kindergarten through third grade teachers should be required to take courses in child development, review standards to make sure there are opportunities to collaborate, and learn from early childhood providers how to engage parents and honor multiculturalism.

= If early learning is not overhauled and aligned with elementary school, educators will be unable to improve fourth-grade reading proficiency, increase high school and college graduation rates, or close the achievement gap.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Early learning, closing achievement gap, early childhood education, child development

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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