Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA)
In order to effectively assess the value that participation in early learning programs has on a child, First 5 LA is investing in a tool that will shed light on the opportunity gap that exists before children even enter kindergarten. Launched in 2017, this tool, a population-wide Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA), provides insights into the importance of early education and highlights vulnerabilities in crucial developmental domains such cognitive development, social competence, emotional maturity, and communication skills. As of 2018, seven strategic partners- school districts, municipalities, and community anchor agencies- are participating in KRA data collection and stakeholder engagement: City of Pasadena, Connections for Children in Santa Monica, El Monte City School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, Pomona Unified School District, Mountain View School District, and Rosemead School District. With the help of First 5 LA’s investment and partnerships with school districts and community stakeholders, teachers across LA County will assess the majority of kindergarten students, which will provide the data needed to develop strategies for targeted improvements and to advocate for the need to expand access to high-quality ECE, especially in low-income communities that stand to benefit most.
Additionally, First 5 partners with UCLA’s Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, as well as with community partners and school districts, to employ the Early Development Instrument (EDI) to measure kindergarten readiness. The EDI is a population measure of how children are developing in communities across the county, and takes a holistic approach that includes measuring language and cognitive skills, communication skills and general knowledge, social competence, physical health and wellbeing, and emotional maturity. Specifically, the EDI was designed to provide a community-level snapshot of childhood wellbeing. Finally, research established over the last decade in Canada and Australia has found the EDI to be a reliable measure of child development, and an accurate indicator of later school success for children. Thus, the EDI is a crucial tool not only in measuring how children are developing, but also in predicting health, education, and social outcomes that will persist beyond kindergarten.
[i]First 5 LA. A Child Better Prepared for Kindergarten is a Child Better Prepared for Life(2018)
[iii]First 5 LA. Understanding the Early Development Instrument(2018)
[iv]Ibid.First 5 LA. A Child Better Prepared for Kindergarten is a Child Better Prepared for Life(2018)