School Readiness Programs
Programs sponsored by states, local municipalities or local nonprofits that prepare children, usually age three to five, to succeed in school. The programs are modeled on Head Start/Better Beginnings/Brighter Futures programs and are compensatory in nature targeting children from low income families or those who have or are at risk for a disability and who may have special needs. Services may include comprehensive development screenings, active learning, parent education programs, family activities, early literacy exercises, home visits and healthy snacks during the school day. In some instances, the programs are entirely home-based and focus on providing materials, instruction and support that enable the parent to prepare their child for entering school. Occasionally, the programs refer to short acclimatization sessions to make new pupils familiar with the school and classroom environment before the formal start of the school year. Some programs offer text messaging as a way to encourage parent participation in early education activities.