A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

FY 1999 Annual Plan - Volume 1. Objective Performance Plans and Data Quality - February 27, 1998

Objective 2.1. All children enter school ready to learn.

Context: Research on early brain development reveals that learning experiences introduced to children at an early age are directly linked to successful learning as children mature. Furthermore, children who enter school ready to learn are more likely to achieve to high standards than children who are inadequately prepared. High-quality early childhood programs are particularly important for children from families with limited education and for children with disabilities.

Key strategies for FY 1999

Coordination with Health and Human Services

Programs supporting this objective

Grants for services
  • Head Start
  • Title I Preschool
  • IDEA Grants for Infants and Families ( Part C)
  • IDEA Preschool Grants (Part B)
  • IDEA state grants (Part B)
  • Even Start
  • Inexpensive Book Distribution (Reading is Fundamental)
  • Ready to Learn Television
  • Goals 2000 Parental Assistance
  • National Research Institute for Early Childhood Education
  • IDEA: Research and Innovation
  • Statistics and Assessment

Technical assistance and dissemination

  • Comprehensive Regional Assistance Centers
  • IDEA Parent Information Centers
  • IDEA: Technical Assistance and Dissemination

Selected performance indicators and charts

Performance indicators in the Strategic Plan for objective 2.1 focus on indicators that track the access to learning activities for children prior to kindergarten.

The percentage of 3-to-5-year-olds whose parents read to them or tell them stories regularly will continuously increase. (Goal 2, indicator 3)

Indicator background and context. Reading to children helps them build their vocabularies, an important factor in school success. Thus, frequent reading by parents to their children is an important activity in preparing children for school. Only two-thirds of preschoolers were read to or told stories regularly in 1993. By 1996, the proportion of preschoolers whose parents read to them or told them stories regularly had increased to 72 percent.

Data source. National Center for Education Statistics, National Household Education Survey, 1993, 1996.

The disparity in preschool participation rates between children from high-income families and children from low-income families will become increasingly smaller. (Goal 2, indicator 2)

Indicator background and context. In 1991, 45 percent of 3-to-5-year-olds from low-income families were enrolled in preschool programs, compared to 73 percent of those from high-income families. Despite the importance of improving preschool participation rates for at-risk children, the disparity in preschool participation rates had not improved by 1996.

Data source. National Center for Education Statistics, National Household Education Survey, 1991 - 1996.

Verification/validation of performance measures: Data from independent evaluations of Even Start and other federal programs, as well as statistical surveys of the early childhood education and households conducted by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES "Early Childhood Longitudinal Study"). The Planning and Evaluation Service monitors the Even Start program through the Even Start Program Information Reporting System information system.


[Objective 1.7] [Table of Contents] [Objective 2.2]