Educating Parents for Kindergarten Readiness
For the last four years, YMCA of the East Bay (YEB) partnered with the City of Berkeley on their 2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth, to educate parents of children ages of birth-5 years from three Early Learning Center sites in Berkeley (South Y, Vera Casey, and West Y) on the importance of school, healthy child development, and attendance.
The YMCA has used the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors Parenting curriculum and exploring a city-wide initiative to measure preschool attendance's impact on later elementary school attendance using the Attendance Works model. By focusing on low-income families enrolled in the Head Start and State Preschool programs, including BUSD, Centro Vida, and others, we aim to improve these children's school readiness and attendance and increase the families' involvement in preparation for school success.
While all children in Berkeley have improved on kindergarten readiness assessments, children from low-income families - primarily children of color - are not doing as well as their Caucasian or Asian peers. By improving parents' understanding of the importance of school, child development, and attendance, we hope to improve the long-term outcomes for this population and impact the persistent achievement gap in the City of Berkeley.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Early Childhood Impact program held several workshops to educate parents on the importance of school attendance with the help of YMCA Family Advocates. On Saturday, May 20, YEB held a workshop for parents on Kindergarten Readiness by a specialist, Joya Chavarin, attended by several parents. “It was a really good parent meeting. Thank you. We received all information, and it was exactly what we needed,” said Tania Pal and Sumanta Garai, Parents of Aryan, YMCA Early Learning Child from Berkeley.
Thanks to the City of Berkeley through a multi-year grant, we’ve provided parents with the tools, resources, support, education, and referrals they need for Kindergarten Readiness, especially for low-income families of color.
What is Kindergarten School Readiness?
Kindergarten school readiness refers to a child's preparedness to start formal education in kindergarten. It encompasses various areas of development, including cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills. While the impact on kindergarten school readiness can vary from child to child, parents need to understand the importance of success in school.
The involvement of parents or caregivers in a child's early education greatly influences their readiness for kindergarten. When parents actively engage in their child's learning, provide a supportive and stimulating environment, and establish routines, children are more likely to develop the necessary skills and confidence to transition smoothly into kindergarten.
Are you interested in supporting Early Childcare Education? Donate today!