Spotlight: Prepared for Kindergarten

In order to be kindergarten-ready, young children need quality early education, strong relationships with families, a safe and secure home environment and regular health and developmental screenings and support.

April 2018 – United Way’s Steps to Success framework focuses on nine critical milestones on the path to prosperity. This month, we are focusing on the Prepared for Kindergarten Step.

Of course, the path to success in kindergarten begins with ensuring babies are born healthy and families are able to provide basic needs like food, safety and housing. What are the other key components of kindergarten readiness? Keep reading to find out!

Select a topic below:

Quality early childhood education has a major impact on a child’s physical, social and cognitive development and helps them prepare for the kindergarten classroom.

Shelia Pleasants
Director of Community Giving
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg

Let’s Talk: Shelia Pleasants

United Way’s Shelia Pleasants spent 14 years running an early childhood education program in Richmond. Read her thoughts on this important topic.

Early Childhood Education: By the Numbers

From 2011-2015, an estimated 47.2% of children (ages 3-4) in our region were enrolled in an early childhood education program. More data.

If a young child is not receiving appropriate medical care and is not healthy, it is difficult—if not impossible—for that child to be prepared for kindergarten.

Margaret Nimmo Holland Executive Director, Voices for Virginia’s Children

Let’s Talk: Margaret Nimmo Holland

We interviewed Margaret Nimmo Holland, Executive Director of Voices for Virginia’s Children, to learn more about this important issue. Read the interview.

Children’s Health Insurance: By the Numbers

In our region, an estimated 4.2% of children (3,430 kids) do not have health insurance. More data.

As with any health concern, developmental delays or disabilities in young children can be more effectively treated the earlier they’re detected.

John Walker
President & CEO, Greater Richmond ARC

Let’s Talk: John Walker

United Way proudly supports Greater Richmond ARC, which helps individuals and families coping with the challenges of living with a disability. We talked to their President & CEO, John Walker, about early intervention programs for young children. Read the interview.

Early Interventions: By the Numbers

In 2015, 1,154 children in our region received Part C intervention services. More data.

Fall PALS-K benchmarks help schools identify kindergarten students who are performing below developmentally appropriate levels on fundamental literacy skills and need additional instruction.

Let’s Talk: Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond

Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond shared what PALS-K is and what it tells us about school readiness. Read the article.

Early Literacy: By the Numbers

In 2016, 84.6% of our region’s kindergartners met Fall PALS-K benchmarks. More data.

How You Can Help

United Way is always looking for volunteers who want to support kindergarten readiness. Visit our Events page or email to sign up!

The Power of Volunteering

If you are looking for a rewarding activity to get involved with that has an impact in your community, I highly recommend reaching out to United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. – Lori Engelhardt

We invited Lori Engelhardt, one of our dedicated volunteers, to tell us about her experience supporting kindergarten readiness by assembling literacy kits for kindergarteners. Read it here.