WHAT WE KNOW
Children who are nurtured early demonstrate kindergarten readiness, such as stronger learning skills, like self-regulation, that leads to higher graduation rates, better health, and increased earnings.
Investments in high-quality early care and education improves not only children’s academic performance, but also crucial social, emotional, and behavioral traits like social skills, motivation, and self-esteem. Studies that have followed children through their adult lives confirm enormous payoffs for these investments, whether measured in success in college, higher income, or lower incarceration rates.
These are the indicators we use to measure progress over time.
Green indicates a positive trend; orange indicates a slight negative trend; grey indicates no change or a change in the indicator.
1. 25% of children have high levels of social and emotional readiness for kindergarten (First 5 Monterey County, 2015)
Progress on social and emotional kindergarten readiness has been positive, though large disparities persist both within and between communities. Currently 25%, about one in four children, are socio-emotionally ready for kindergarten. This represents the percentage of children who have high levels of social and emotional readiness as measured by combining the Self Regulation and the Self and Social Development domains of the DRDP-SR. Children were classified as having a high level of readiness if they had an average score of 4 or higher for the two domains, using the following five-point scale: (1) Exploring, (2) Developing, (3) Building, (4) Integrating, and (5) Applying (First 5 Monterey County, 2015). (See Countywide Results section below for work being done to improve the measurement of kindergarten readiness)
2. 49% of 3rd grade reading is based on meeting or exceeding the English Language Arts/Literacy standards on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (California Department of Education, 2017)
Third grade reading scores are also improving across the county, jumping from 42% in 2015 to 48% in 2016 and 49% in 2017. This measure includes “English Only” (EO) and “Initially Fluent English Proficient” (IFEP) students. “English Language Learner” (ELL) students who are reclassified as “Fluent English Proficient” are not included in the measure.
3. 71% of parents with children entering kindergarten read, show pictures books, or tell stories to their children 4 or more days per week (First 5 Monterey County, 2015)
The percentage of parents who actively support their children’s learning through rich language interaction is high, with 71% reading, showing picture books, or telling stories with their children 4 or more days per week. The survey question used to gather information on these parent behaviors changed in 2015 from previous years, so no trend is shown (First 5 Monterey County, 2015).
4. 32.5% of working families with children ages 0-5 have access to a licensed child care center or family child care home.
The percentage of working families with children ages 0-5 with access to licensed child care center or family child care home is calculated by dividing the total number of spaces in licensed child care centers and family child care homes (10,352 in 2014; California Child Care Resource and Referral Network, California Child Care Portfolio, 2015) by the number of children under 6 years of age living with one or both parents with one or both of their parents in the labor force (32,410 in 2014; U.S. Census, American Community Survey, 2014 1-year estimate).
5. 34% of children were born to women with a low level of education (Monterey County Department of Health, 2015).
This percentage captures births in the County to women who had completed less than 12 grade education at the time they gave birth. This demonstrates a drop of 2% from 2013 to 2015 (Monterey County Department of Health, 2015)
6. 73% of mothers receive prenatal care during their first trimester.
This percentage represents births in the County to women who did not receive prenatal care within the first trimester of their pregnancy. This demonstrates an increase of 1% from 2013 to 2015 (Monterey County Department of Health, 2015)