Kindergarten Readiness

GOAL: Every child is ready for Kindergarten.

Early childhood educational experiences during the 0-5 years can have a significant impact on whether a student is adequately prepared for school, and on academic performance throughout their education.

We aim to increase the number of kindergartners who enter kindergarten ready to learn, as measured by physical well-being and motor development, social and emotional development, approaches toward learning, communication and language usage, and cognition and general knowledge.

Theory of Change

Based on national best practices, we believe that we can increase the number of Berkeley’s children who enter kindergarten ready to learn, through:

  • Supporting student and families in transitioning from pre-K to K
  • Increasing opportunities for children to develop self-regulation skills critical for early learning
  • Enhancing the quality of pre-K experiences through provider trainings
  • Expanding our knowledge of student needs through a kindergarten readiness assessment

2020 Vision projects

  • Pre-K Power Play program. Offered by the City of Berkeley Division of Recreation, Power Play provides a 10-week, play-based curriculum for children ages 3-5 that builds skills in self-regulation, executive functioning, controlling impulses, and literacy.
  • Kindergarten-Early Childhood Education (K-ECE) Collaborative. Berkeley Alliance hosts quarterly meetings of the K-ECE Collaborative to bridge Early Childhood Education providers and kindergarten teachers as a learning community to support quality early education, kindergarten readiness, and smooth transitions into kindergarten for students and their families.
  • Heart 2 Heart partnership. Berkeley Alliance and 2020 Vision partners have increased outreach to families in South and West Berkeley through the City of Berkeley’s Heart 2 Heart neighborhood canvassing efforts, with materials on preparing for kindergarten and enrolling in BUSD.
  • Research and evaluation. Berkeley Alliance supports graduate students’ research and evaluation projects, assessing topics such as the impact of the Power Play program and the challenges posed by state budget cuts to early childhood education services and providers in Berkeley.

Current Data

With support from 2020 Vision, the Berkeley Unified School District piloted the first district-wide Kindergarten Universal Screening Tool in all kindergarten classrooms in the Fall of 2011. The pilot helped teachers identify student strengths and needs early in the school year. With lessons in implementation and modifications to the tool, Fall 2012 assessment data will serve as a baseline for measuring progress in our kindergarten readiness work.


Program Spotlight: Power Play

Lead agency: City of Berkeley, Division of Recreation

Power Play is a pre-K program designed to promote executive functioning and self-regulation. With funding from First 5 Alameda County, Power Play was launched as a pilot 2020 Vision program in the summer of 2010. To date, Power Play has held six 10-week sessions, with 97 children participating in one or more sessions. There was a statistically significant increase in self-regulation scores between their first and last assessments.