Monday, August 1, 2016

Today, the Cradle to Career Alliance(C2CA), an educational non-profit serving Boone County, released Kindergarten Readiness Criteria for all Boone County children. The “wise” Early Childhood Collaborative Network (WECCAN) was convened by C2CA in January 2015 to study issues related to kindergarten readiness in Boone County then take action to eliminate disparities.

An early discovery of the Network was the confusion between and among schools and districts on what constituted kindergarten readiness. The Network members including representatives from all six school districts, most non-profits serving children birth to five, child care providers, college and university professionals in the field, the state health department, Daniel Boone Regional Library, etc. brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Early on, they decided that to reach their goal of kindergarten readiness for all of Boone County’s children, a clear definition of what that meant would be essential.

After interviewing 15 kindergarten teachers from Columbia and the county schools, they developed a baseline for readiness. They then reviewed the educational literature and research, information from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and consulted information from national organizations supporting education of the young child to vet their thinking. Finally, they tapped the expertise within the group. When the criteria was streamlined, they sent a copy for review to all county kindergarten teachers to request input and feedback. The resulting document not only identifies criteria for kindergarten readiness that parents, childcare providers and the public can understand, but also includes key experiences that move a child along the developmental path to readiness from birth to age five.

By late September, a copy of this information including some explanation and a variety of resources for parents and childcare providers will be distributed throughout the county for easy access. Additional information can be found on the C2CA website cradletocareeralliance.org.