Despite widening income inequality in America, a new study, Recent Trends in Income, Racial, and Ethnic School Readiness Gaps at Kindergarten Entry, out earlier this week in AERA Open, shows the gap in school readiness between high- and low-income students entering Kindergarten is closing significantly. In fact, it is closing by 10 to 16 percentage points from 1998 to 2010.

In a recent NPR interview, the study’s lead author, Sean Reardon, a professor of poverty and inequality in education at Stanford University, attributes the narrowing gap to high-quality preschool – especially with low-income families. Other factors contributing to the narrowed gap is more parents are reading to their children at home, they have more books, and they are going to more cultural activities such as the zoos, museums and libraries.

However, Rosen points out, “what’s interesting is the increase in those kinds of activities is more pronounced among low-income families over this 12-year period than it is among high-income families.”

This study reaffirms what the research has been saying for year: high-quality early learning opportunities lead to success later in life.

To read the study and the NPR interview with Sean Reardon, click here.