Parental Learning and School Readiness in the Gearing Up for Kindergarten Program
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AbstractEntering kindergarten is a key moment in a young child’s life, and parents are a child’s first teacher. What can guide parents as they assist children with school readiness? Gearing Up for Kindergarten is an intensive parent education and school readiness program designed to help parents and children prepare for school. Gearing Up for Kindergarten is a parent education program that combines early learning opportunities for pre-kindergarten children with parent education opportunities for adults. This study presents findings from evaluation efforts conducted with 59 Gearing Up for Kindergarten adult participants during the 2006-2007 school year. Participants in the program demonstrated (1) high satisfaction with program quality and experiences, (2) impacts on parental knowledge and confidence, and (3) significant and positive changes in parental practices related to school readiness. Implications for parent education and programs intended to strengthen school readiness among pre-kindergarten children are explored. Parent education on school readiness can provide a substantive resource as parents help their children develop and become ready for the school years.