Children Enter School Ready to Learn (Anne Arundel County)

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment: Demonstrating Readiness

46% FY 2020

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Story Behind the Curve
  • Economic impact (poverty)
  • How the assessment is delivered and by whom - in a prior year tests were only delivered via iPad which might be a barrier for young children with limited technology access/experience, create lag times that show up as deficiencies in motor skills, etc.
  • Who developed the assessment?
  • Potential for bias - both in the assessment itself as well as in early learning teachers/providers (similar to classroom discipline disparities in school-aged children)
  • Language Barriers (tests aren't available in other languages) which further perpetuates gaps for ELL
  • Technology Barriers
  • Consistency in the assessments 
  • Comparing tests from earlier years - would love to know about MSDE/AACPS's staff opinions on the change to the test content/process and how that has shifted us from 80%+ readiness
  • Concerns about COVID compounding issues that contribute to readiness
  • Parents may be unaware of the things they could/should work on with their young children to ensure readiness
  • Quality childcare/early childhood education programming - we need more of it
  • Accesss to childcare/early childhood education is equally problematic - not enough slots, most options are not affordable for a large percentage of parents
  • Lack of programs that are involving the parents to reinforce concepts learn in preK/childcare settings
  • Headstart Model/empowering parents to support early childhood learning is the ideal model - need more headstart & early headstart locations & spots!
  • Parents capacity - working parents may lack time, energy, capacity to provide enough learning at home, time to do regular reading, etc.
  • Trusted relationships in the community to connect parents/families to supports and programs
  • Engaging the village not just the parent 
  • Consistency with providers - lots of turnover means lack of consistency in learning as well
  • Impact of trauma - community and personal
  • Incremental successes need to be celebrated and built on!
  • Lack of bilingual resources/resources that address cultural differences
  • When are resources available? Timing may make them difficult for working parents to access.

Links shared during discussion:

  • City/County Gov
  • School system
  • Infants and toddlers
  • Child Find
  • Library 
  • Health Department
  • Healthy Start
  • Early Head Start/Head Start
  • Family Support Centers
  • DSS
  • Faith Community 
  • ACT
  • Children's Collab Non-Profit?
  • BEST
  • Babies in Bloom
  • Mental Health Providers
  • Childcare Providers
  • Parents/Family Members
  • Community
  • Legal
  • Judiciary 
  • Partnership CYF
  • Systems of Care
  • community feeding programs
  • community gardening programs
  • ECC
  • Judy Center
  • LICC


What Works
  • Parent Ambassador Programs - leverage interpersonal relationships & peer support
  • Going out in the communities knocking on doors - bringing information and services to people where they are
  • Incentives- but beyond incentives! "cotton candy and broccoli model" - need to mix incentives and fun with content & proven tools/techniques 
  • Celebrate/build on small wins to help parents and families feel successful
  • Creative service delivery models (mobile, informal at bus stop, community-based/focused)
  • Increase trauma-informed practices to support both family and community and reduce intergenerational harm
  • integration of interfaith as part of the process
  • Engaging in community activities 
  • More headstart/early headstart
  • Expand programs/services like BEST 2.0 that help parents (like incarcerated parents) understand their role/value as child's first teacher and give them skills/tools to foster success
  • Increase bi-lingual programming options
  1. More access to Headstart/Early Headstart (or programs that utilize similar models)
  2. More affordable quality early childhood programs/services/childcare options
  3. Expansion of BEST 2.0, particularly for underserved communities (bi-lingual families, families impacted by incarceration, families impacted by substance use, single-parent households, etc.)
  4. Integration of ACES/trauma-informed practices into early childhood and family programs & services
Data Discussion
Scorecard Result Container Indicator Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy