Continuity and change in low-income children's early learning experiences across the school transition: A Comparison of head start and kindergarten classrooms

Tashia Abry, Michelle Taylor, Manuela Jimenez Herrera, Megan E. Pratt, Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this chapter, we leverage the nationally representative Head Start Family and Children's Experiences Survey (FACES) to provide a US population-based description of prekindergarten and kindergarten learning experiences among an economically disadvantaged group: 4-year-old children attending Head Start. We begin by introducing Head Start as a federal initiative to support the school readiness of low-income children. We then highlight emerging evidence of benefits associated with continuity in supportive educational experiences across early schooling. After a brief overview of the FACES data, we describe structural elements (i.e., programmatic infrastructure or design elements) and process-related elements (i.e., direct interactions among individuals or between individuals and learning activities) of children's learning experiences, focusing on areas of continuity and change across the 2 years. Findings highlight strengths of children's Head Start and kindergarten experiences while revealing areas of discontinuity across the transition that may be targeted to bolster Head Start children's school readiness and adjustment. These patterns also speak to the role of early education policy in promoting high-quality early learning experiences for low-income children across preschool and kindergarten years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKindergarten Transition and Readiness
Subtitle of host publicationPromoting Cognitive, Social-Emotional, and Self-Regulatory Development
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages85-109
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319902005
ISBN (Print)9783319901992
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 9 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Abry, T., Taylor, M., Jimenez Herrera, M., Pratt, M. E., & LoCasale-Crouch, J. (2018). Continuity and change in low-income children's early learning experiences across the school transition: A Comparison of head start and kindergarten classrooms. In Kindergarten Transition and Readiness: Promoting Cognitive, Social-Emotional, and Self-Regulatory Development (pp. 85-109). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90200-5_4