Immediate Effects of a Program to Promote School Readiness in Low-Income Children: Results of a Pilot Study

Educ Treat Children. 2014 Aug;37(3):431-460. doi: 10.1353/etc.2014.0021.


Children from low-income backgrounds demonstrate poorer school readiness skills than their higher-income peers. The Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program was developed to increase early literacy, social skills, and self-regulatory skills among children with inadequate school readiness. In the present study, 39 families participated in a pilot efficacy trial conducted through a community collaboration to examine the feasibility and impact of the KITS program with families from disadvantaged neighborhoods. Participating families were demographically representative of the larger populations in the participating school districts. Children who received the intervention demonstrated significantly greater improvements in letter naming, initial sound fluency, and understanding of concepts about print than their peers who did not participate in the intervention, as well as decreases in aggressive responses to peer provocation and increases in self-regulation skills. Results suggest that a brief, focused school readiness intervention is feasible to conduct with low-income families and may improve critical skills.

Keywords: caregiver involvement; intervention; low income; school readiness; self-regulation.