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School Readiness

The Nebraska Department of Education recognizes that it is important for children in kindergarten programs to have expectations appropriate for their physical, emotional, and intellectual capabilities. The goal of kindergarten is to make the best match between teaching and learning for every child to support a successful school experience.

The relationships and communication between the kindergarten teacher and the families plays an essential role in ensuring children’s success. In spite of wide use of the term in connection with school entrance, there is no widely accepted understanding of readiness. In other words, perspectives about readiness have their sources in the belief systems that parents and educators have about child development and the purpose of schooling. A more productive way to think about readiness is to shift thinking from “Are they ready for kindergarten?” to “What must we do to make sure all children can be successful?” This approach places responsibilities on adults—parents, educators, and community leaders—to shape the early home and community environment to support children’s development and learning.

Specific academic skills often thought to be prerequisites for school success can easily be learned by children whose needs in the following five areas have been met: 

  • Health and physical well being
  • Social and emotional well being
  • Approaches to learning
  • Language development
  • General knowledge about the world around them    

Content for this page comes from Ready for Success - What Families Want to Know about Starting School in Nebraska.

School Readiness Publications

Getting Ready for Kindergarten: What Early Care & Education Providers Need to Know to Support Nebraska’s Children & Their Families 

Ready for Success 

Nebraska Early Learning Guildelines

Foundations for Success: What Nebraska'a Children Need Us to Know