Boston Public Schools’ prekindergarten program is substantially improving children’s readiness to start kindergarten, according to a new study of more than 2,000 children enrolled there. The program uses research-based curricula and coaching of teachers, is taught primarily by masters-level teachers, and is open to any child regardless of family income.
The study, out of Harvard University, appears in the journal Child Development. Some of the study’s findings on the effects of the program are the largest found to date in evaluations of large-scale public prekindergarten programs.
Researchers found that the program substantially improved children’s language, literacy, math, executive function (the ability to regulate, control, and manage one’s thinking and actions), and emotional development skills citywide. Children in the program were 4 and 5 years old and from racially, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds. While all students who participated benefited, the improvements were especially strong for Latino children.