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Research Report

School Readiness

Publication date:
Many children in the United States enter kindergarten with limitations in their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development that might have been significantly diminished or eliminated through early identification and attention to child and family needs. School readiness once was thought to be solely the function of the child and family with focus primarily on pre-academic skills. We now recognize that schools and communities also are responsible for school readiness, and that a child’s experiences from birth impact the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development needed for school success. Pediatricians have a significant role to play in school readiness. They have longstanding relationships with children and families that are established early and grow over time. In many instances, pediatricians are at the forefront of advocating for access to health care, home visitation, preschool mental health consultation, early literacy funding, quality early childhood programs and child care subsidies. In multiple ways, pediatricians are an integral link between children and their families to school and community programs that promote school readiness.


P. Gail Williams, Marc Alan Lerner. School Readiness. Pediatrics (July 2019). From the American Academy of Pediatrics Technical Report.