2020 Goal - 80% Kindergarten Ready


Kindergarten Readiness means that every child enters schools with the literacy, social, emotional and physical strengths needed for successful learning. Children with higher levels of school readiness at age five are generally more successful in grade school.

There is unequal readiness throughout the district, with rates of children not prepared as high as 70% in certain sub-groups. This wide range masks the needs of many of Yonkers' incoming Kindergartners across the city.

Ensuring access to affordable and high quality healthcare services, developmental screening for all children and removing barriers to excellent early childhood care programs can increase overall school readiness and meaningfully reduce school readiness gaps within our communities.

Yonkers Thrives has chosen to focus on Kindergarten Readiness as its first action network because when you can impact a child at this stage, you can alter the entire trajectory of their life.

What is the Kindergarten Readiness
Action Network Doing?

The Kindergarten Readiness Action Network is dedicated to working collaboratively to align services and engage families in Yonkers. We want to to ensure that Yonkers preschoolers are provided opportunities for educational equity and enhanced academic and social/emotional success in school. We are:

  • Working together on the first-ever snapshot of Kindergarten Readiness in Yonkers. Our report will give an overview of all the sectors that make up kindergarten readiness and should help to shed light on what's working and areas in need of development.
  • Targeting specific Yonkers communities (and zip codes) where data shows there is the most need.
  • Data Analysis - Working both with the school system and independent organizations to analyze data points as it relates to student success.
  • Pre-K Attendance Projects: 
    • Working with parents and the community to put together tool kits and communication programs on the importance of pre-k attendance.
    • Undertaking a "bright spots analysis" to look at schools in our selected areas where attendance numbers are very good despite the same kind of challenges. What can be learned that can then be moved to other schools

Share this video on why school attendance is important at every age.


Pre-Kindergarten Yonkers Readiness Data Highlights

  • From the Children’s Progress Assessment - in fall 2015, 37.6% of Yonkers children were deemed unprepared for kindergarten.
  • There is disparate preparedness throughout the district, with rates of children not prepared as high as 70% in certain sub-groups based on race/ethnicity, poverty, and English language learners. This significant range masks the needs of many of Yonkers' incoming Kindergartners across the city.
  • This data does not include the 6% of incoming students who were not assessed.
  • 62% of the incoming kindergarten students in 2014/15 did attend a Yonkers public preschool program. It is unknown if the additional 776 (38%) children were afforded any type of similar quality early childhood education program.


Attendance Resources
     Absences Add Up
     Attendance Works

Is Your Child Kindergarten Ready?

Below are guideline that includes a range of social, academic and developmental factors that are used by schools to determine if your child is Ready for Kindergarten. They include: 

  • Enthusiasm toward learning. Is he eager to explore and discover? Is he comfortable asking questions? Does he persist even when a task is difficult?

  • Language skills. Does she communicate her needs? Express her feelings appropriately?

  • Ability to listen. Can he follow simple instructions? Is he able to listen to an entire story without interrupting?

  • Desire to be independent. Does she separate from parents for the school day? Is she starting to take responsibility for her personal belongings? Can she follow simple two-step tasks? Can she use the bathroom by herself?

  • Ability to interact with children and adults. Is he able to share, compromise, take turns and problem-solve?

  • Strong fine-motor skills. Is she able to hold and use a pencil? Cut with scissors? Is she learning to write her name?

  • Basic letter and number awareness. Can he sing and recite the alphabet and recognize some letters? Can he count to 10 and identify numbers one to five?