Ready or not: Associations between participation in subsidized child care arrangements, pre-kindergarten, and Head Start and children's school readiness

Nicole D. Forry, Elizabeth E. Davis, Kate Welti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research has found disparities in young children's development across income groups. A positive association between high-quality early care and education and the school readiness of children in low-income families has also been demonstrated. This study uses linked administrative data from Maryland to examine the variations in school readiness associated with different types of subsidized child care, and with dual enrollment in subsidized child care and state pre-kindergarten or Head Start. Using multivariate methods, we analyze linked subsidy administrative data and portfolio-based kindergarten school readiness assessment data to estimate the probability of children's school readiness in three domains: personal and social development, language and literacy, and mathematical thinking. Compared to children in subsidized family child care or informal care, those in subsidized center care are more likely to be rated as fully ready to learn on the two pre-academic domains. Regardless of type of subsidized care used, enrollment in pre-kindergarten, but not Head Start, during the year prior to kindergarten is strongly associated with being academically ready for kindergarten. No statistically significant associations are found between type of subsidized care, pre-kindergarten enrollment, or Head Start and assessments of children's personal/social development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-644
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was produced as part of the Maryland Research Capacity and Maryland-Minnesota Research Partnership projects. Funding for these studies was provided through grants from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . The contents of this paper are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The authors would like to thank our partners on these projects, particularly Drs. Rolf Grafwallner and John Spears. We also extend warm appreciation to the members of the Maryland Research Advisory Group for helpful advice and feedback on preliminary analyses for this paper and to Kathryn Tout, Tamara Halle, Paula Daneri, and Samantha Goldhagen for their assistance with this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Child care subsidies
  • Head Start
  • Low-income
  • Pre-kindergarten
  • School readiness

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