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Why is school readiness so important?

School _readiness

School readiness is a term that’s gaining traction in early education circles. While not a new concept, much of the discussion is about what exactly makes a child school ready.

What is school readiness?
Most early learning specialists agree that school readiness is equipping pre-kindergarten children with a set of skills that serve as a foundation for further learning.

What are school-ready skills?
By the time children reach kindergarten, they should have a near mastery of basic cognitive and social skills. More than simply knowing their ABC’s, school-ready children display the following abilities:

  • follow simple directions
  • understand feelings
  • cooperate during classroom activities
  • communicate needs
  • conduct basic self-help skills
  • hop and skip
  • use a pencil and scissors
  • recognize shapes and colors
  • know numbers 1-10
  • distinguish sounds and recognize some letters, usually letters of their own name
  • can self-regulate behaviors

Where do children learn these skills?
Learning doesn’t begin when children start school; it begins at birth. That’s why the first five years of children’s lives shape their later success in school and life. During the first five years of life, the human brain builds an infrastructure for learning.

What can parents do to help children become school ready?
Supporting the healthy development of your child is crucial. Create a loving environment that’s low on stress, consistent and stable. Focus on helping your child grow strong with quality nutrition. Read to your baby and read with your child as reading skills expand. Another crucial task for working parents is finding a high quality child care in those critical early learning stages.

Learn more about early education at
ABC Quality is South Carolina’s go-to resource for information about child care and child care quality. ABC Quality is a voluntary rating and improvement program that helps South Carolina parents find high quality child care providers. It is administered by the Division of Early Care and Education of the SC Department of Social Services.

By ABC Quality Team on January 24, 2017