The overwhelming evidence shows that children who enter kindergarten behind are likely to remain behind throughout their educational careers and beyond. These gaps in achievement are difficult and expensive to close with K-12 education alone, and they can last a lifetime, particularly for children from low-income families.

Preparing a child for kindergarten requires a focus on five areas of development that begin at birth and are influenced by quality early experiences: physical well-being and motor development; social and emotional development, cognitive skills, language and developing literacy, and the ability to concentrate and follow directions.

Investments in early childhood development lay the foundation for school readiness by building these cognitive and character skills that children need to do well in school and in life, including attentiveness, persistence, impulse control and sociability.