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What is Kindergarten Readiness?

Kindergarten readiness occurs when exiting pre-k children are both developmentally ready to thrive and academically ready to learn in a kindergarten classroom. 

In other words, in addition to being emotionally ready for more responsibility, today's kindergartners need be "ready" to tackle the same reading, writing, and mathematical skills that were once saved until first grade.

Two Parts of Kinder Readiness

Look, there's no denying the importance that social-emotional learning has on 3- and 4-year olds as they get ready to move onto kindergarten. But, social-emotional growth really only focuses on half the child. 
For children to be truly kinder-ready today, we must focus on the whole child. And that means putting an equal emphasis on academic readiness skills in pre-k.
the two parts of kindergarten readiness: developmental and academic readiness 

Developmental Readiness

Developmental readiness is made up of the skills that allow children to functional in a school environment and ensures they have a finer grasp on social-emotional development, language development, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills.

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Social-Emotional Development

Social-emotional connections are crucial for pre-k children because they help them relate to one another, identify their personal feelings, understand and follow rules, demonstrate independence, and more.


Oral language development is critical in growing kindergarten-ready students because it leads to early communication and helps young children develop critical thinking skills that are now important to success in kindergarten.

Gross Motor

As children develop more coordinated and complex large motor movements, they can participate in a wider variety of physical activities. These activities contribute to their relationship building with peers and support their ability to engage in social play.

Fine Motor

Hand-eye coordination, object-handling, and other fine motor skills help children perform more complex tasks. As these skills are practiced and refined, they help pre-k learners prepare them for emergent writing success.

Academic Readiness

Academic readiness is made up of the skills that allow children to successfully learn foundational academic concepts like emergent reading, emergent writing, mathematics, or science and other content areas. 


Emergent Reading

Emergent reading skills are the foundation for becoming a successful and fluent reader. Kinder- ready learners use these skills to recognize their name, recognize environment print, “pretend” to read a book, retell stories, describe illustrations, and more.

Emergent Writing

Emergent writing includes drawing, scribbling, and the production of letter-like forms that are meant to convey meaning. These skills encourage young children to think about print and the relationships between letters and sounds – skills necessary for today's kindergarten standards.


Positive and engaging experiences with mathematics help young children develop curiosity, imagination, flexibility, inventiveness, and persistence – skills that lead to kinder readiness and contribute to future success across other domains.

Science & Content Areas

Science, social studies, and other similar content areas help students understand people and the world around them. Kindergarten-ready students need to have the sense of inquiry and critical thinking skills that these content areas inspire.

Our Research Into Kindergarten Readiness

We set out to learn more about the current state of kindergarten readiness. To do that, we spoke with teachers and administrators from all across the country, looking to find out how many of today's outgoing pre-k children are “kindergarten-ready.”

Here's what we've found...

kindergarten readiness and pre-k teachers

While 67% of pre-k teachers believe over half of their students are “kinder ready”…

kindergarten readiness and kindergarten teachers

… Only 39% of kindergarten teachers feel their incoming students are ready for the rigors of their new grade.

The reason – we found – for this discrepancy is that teachers in pre-k have yet to figure out just how to incorporate lessons for academic readiness into their already-packed routines. And without this important, early exposure to literacy, math, and other content areas, pre-k children simply aren't being fully prepared for the rigors of today's kindergarten. 

What's The State of Kinder Readiness in Your School?

Preparing your students for kindergarten, with today's standards, requires a healthy dose of both developmental readiness and academic readiness skills every day.

But how would you rate your ability to get that done? How do you ensure you aren't overemphasizing one skill set, at the expense of the other? 

The answer may lie in the resources and materials you are using. 

Successfully balancing your instruction is most easily achieved by intentionally and strategically integrating the two parts of kindergarten readiness. The simplest -- and most effective -- way to do this is with resources that provide well-crafted, bite-sized lessons that weave multiple skills together.

With the right materials, more balanced routines, and a stronger emphasis on developing the whole child, it's possible for all of your students to leave pre-k as confident, kindergarten-ready learners.

Get the Full Report

If you’d like to see the full range of our research into the state of Kindergarten Readiness, and discover tips and best practices for integrating academic readiness skills into your developmental lessons…

Download our free State of Kindergarten Readiness Report by filling out the form below!