The Illinois State Board of Education has released its next installation of Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) data, providing a snapshot of the skills young children had as they entered kindergarten in fall 2019. This year’s KIDS data shows the positive impact our state’s quality early childhood programs are having to increase the number of children entering kindergarten ready to learn. As we work to rebuild our state’s early childhood system, we can use this report as a tool to continue to advocate for increased investments in early learning and care that are essential for addressing and diminishing the inequities in readiness that exist for our youngest learners.
“This year’s report will be an important watermark to measure success as we work to build Illinois’ early childhood system back better and more equitable in the months and years following the pandemic,” Diana Rauner, Start Early President and CEO, said. “The inequities we see in kindergarten readiness across the state have only been magnified by the pandemic, underscoring the long-standing need to invest more in our early learning support and infrastructure, especially in under-resourced communities.”
Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, all kindergarten teachers in Illinois began observing their students on a common set of developmental measures using the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS). KIDS provides kindergarten teachers with information to support classroom instruction, helps parents understand expectations for their children in kindergarten and gives lawmakers and school administrators data to help determine how resources should be directed to help all young children enter kindergarten with the skills and supports they need to succeed.