The goal of early childhood education is to improve academic and social behavioral outcomes for children from birth through third grade. IES supports rigorous and relevant research in education and special education, evaluation, and survey data collection to improve the school readiness skills of young children and examine children's early learning and development during the preschool years (birth to five years old), as well as as children's progress through school (K-3rd grade and beyond). Early childhood initiatives at IES include evaluation studies and technical assistance programs; grant programs to fund research on prekindergarten children (ages 3 to 5); research on infants, toddlers, and young children (birth to five) with or at risk for disabilities; and cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.
Preparing a School Ready Child: The Ready Child, The Ready Family, The Ready School, and The Ready Community What does it mean to be ready for school? IES resources offer insight into when children and their families are ready to begin kindergarten, schools are ready to receive incoming students, and communities are ready to support families with young children. Preparing a School-Ready Child identifies characteristics of the school ready child, family, school, and community and offers additional resources for each group. Two videos—Preparing a School Ready Child: The Ready Child and The Ready School and Preparing a School Ready Child: The Ready Family and The Ready Community—provide examples of practices that support school readiness. The IES Regional Educational Laboratories developed these resources, which have been featured in early learning symposiums in school districts and communities.