Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Researchers recognize that if certain academic skills are not present upon entrance into formal schooling, literacy achievement can be affected. The impact of a local early childhood program on student school readiness was unknown at the study elementary school. The purpose of this quantitative study was to compare the academic readiness between kindergarten students who participated in the Nonpublic School Early Childhood Development Program and those who did not. The theoretical framework was based on Bruner's constructivist theory of scaffolding, which highlights the importance of providing support to students in the initial stages of learning. Early achievement data from a sample of 42 students at a rural elementary school were examined to compare the Stanford Early School Achievement Test scores between students who attended the early childhood program (n = 20) and those who did not (n = 22). Analysis of variance indicated no statistically significant differences in scores between the groups. The current study was limited by a small sample size, and it is recommended that additional studies be conducted with larger samples in order to explore any impact early childhood education programs might have on kindergarten readiness. This study contributes to positive social change by informing school stakeholders on the impact of their early childhood program on school readiness. These findings may prompt additional study and discourse on the specific dimensions of early childhood programs that might improve school readiness.