The Efficacy of Preschool Developmental Indicators as a Screen for Early Primary School-Based Literacy Interventions

Child Dev. 2020 Jan;91(1):e59-e76. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13145. Epub 2018 Sep 11.


Literacy success lays the foundation for children's later educational, health, and well-being outcomes. Thus, early identification of literacy need is vital. Using data from New Zealand's national preschool health screening program for fiscal years 2010/2011-2014/2015, demographic and health variables from 255,090 children aged 4 years were related to whether they received a literacy intervention in early primary school. Overall, 20,652 (8.1%) children received an intervention. Time-to-event analysis revealed that all considered variables were significantly related to literacy intervention (all p < .01), but the full model lacked reasonable predictive power for population screening purposes (Harrell's c-statistic = .624; 95% CI [.618, .629]). Including more direct literacy measures in the national screening program is likely needed for improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't