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Bridging the gap: Easing the transition from pre-K to kindergarten

The nationwide Early Learning Network is studying children's transitions from publicly-funded pre-K into kindergarten in diverse communities, ranging from rural to urban locations; including coastal and central states; and representing children and families of diverse racial, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The results of this work show significant misalignment in the experiences children have in pre-K and kindergarten classrooms. Deep structural challenges produce these misalignments, including complex governance systems and lack of interagency collaboration. When parts of the educational system are misaligned, learning and development may be compromised. Policy changes, both large and small, can bring children's early experiences into greater alignment. Improved continuity as children move from pre-K into kindergarten may help ease stressful transitions and maintain the advantages children gain from pre-K. In this brief, we explore factors in pre-K and kindergarten that typically lack alignment and offer some ways program decision-makers can start bridging the gap. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Fact Sheets & Briefs
United States

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