Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten Success (P2K)


P2K - Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten SuccessMany children enter kindergarten lacking key school readiness skills in domains such as language, literacy, social competence, and math. Children from low-income backgrounds are at particular risk for not being ready. There is an assumption that high-quality early education programs can mitigate this readiness gap. However, without an understanding of what it means to be high-quality, and how high-quality programs enhance children’s early learning, preschool programs are unlikely to yield the large, sustained benefits that policy-makers, advocates, and families seek.

The P2K project is working closely with preschool programs to measure and observe three critical contributors to school readiness:

  • Children's executive function skills (e.g., self-control, working memory, mental flexibility),
  • Children's individual engagement with teachers, peers, and learning tasks, and
  • The quality of children's experiences and interactions in the classroom.

P2K will provide a better understanding of what high-quality preschool education means, and will inform the specific classroom experiences that increase kindergarten success for children.

Project Status: 2016-2021

Funding Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Principal Investigators: Jason Downer, Amanda Williford