school readiness pays rich dividends

Prekindergarten and kindergarten mark the start of a child's formal education. How prepared children are when they first enter school often determines whether their school experience is successful. Not only does school readiness generate higher academic achievement, but an investment in early care and education earns a financial return. And, school readiness generates the workforce Maryland depends upon.

Educational Dividends

  • Children who enter kindergarten with high levels of school readiness at the start of kindergarten continue developing on track throughout their academic careers.
  • The absence of these kindergarten readiness skills may contribute to even greater disparities throughout students' school years.  For example, gaps in math, reading, and vocabulary skills evident at kindergarten account for at least half of the racial gaps in high school achievement scores. (ChildTrends Data Bank, July 2015.) 

Economic Dividends

  • Not only does investing in children’s school readiness generate the workforce Maryland depends upon, but economist Arthur Rolnick has shown that an investment in early care and education earns a 16% financial rate of return for a community—through fewer grade retentions, reduced need for special education, lower dropout and criminal activity rates, and a higher likelihood that a child will grow up to be a productive employee and taxpayer. 

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About Ready at Five


Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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2017-18 kindergarten readiness data 

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