The 2016 Early Childhood Profiles, released last week by the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood (GOEC), provide county-specific data to help local leaders and early childhood advocates assess community challenges and inform local strategies to help children arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed.
In Kentucky, only 50 percent of children are considered ready when they enter kindergarten, according to the Brigance kindergarten screener released last fall.
“The goal of the Early Childhood Profile is to enhance dialogue in communities across the state about how to help more children arrive in kindergarten ready to be successful,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and chair of the Early Childhood Advisory Council Data Workgroup. “The first five years of brain development lay a critical foundation and families, communities and the local school system all play an important role in ensuring children are healthy and well prepared for the years ahead.”
In its fourth year of production, the 2016 Early Childhood Profile includes several new features. Historical kindergarten readiness results are included to track progress over time on the county level. The workforce section highlights the number of high school students who have graduated with an “industry recognized credential” in local Family and Consumer Sciences programs.
The Early Childhood Profile continues to contain results from the 2015-16 statewide kindergarten screener, information about the quality and availability of child care, and participation in publicly funded preschool, Head Start and child care programs. Demographic data related to children in poverty, participation in social service programs, and child abuse cases highlight external factors that can impact a child’s chance for success in school and life.
“While the Brigance screener gives us a snapshot of where children are at school entry, the Profile helps to identify some of the contributing factors that communities may want to address to improve outcomes for kids,” said Terry Tolan, executive director of the GOEC. “It takes everyone in the community – schools, families, churches, local government and early childhood programs – to help children thrive.”
The Early Childhood Profile is produced by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) for the GOEC and the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) utilizing data from the Kentucky Longitudinal Data System (KLDS).