Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Beate R. Baltes


Students who enter kindergarten lacking readiness skills often struggle to meet literacy benchmarks and to successfully complete school. The problem to be investigated by this study is the low literacy scores on the standardized Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment test at 2 public New Jersey elementary schools. While some students attended public or private preschools, others did not attend any preschool prior to starting kindergarten. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the difference in kindergarten literacy gain scores among students who attended public, private, and no preschool. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and emergent literacy theory served as the theoretical foundation for this study. The study followed an ex post facto 1 x 3 factorial design. Analysis of variance was conducted using an archived data set that included pre- and posttest kindergarten literacy scores for 100 kindergarten students accounting for approximately 15% of the school district's total kindergarten population. The results showed a statistically significant difference for both the public and private preschool group compared to the no preschool group. Student achievement between the pre- and posttest increased the greatest for the public preschool attendance group. Results inform families' early childcare decisions, empower policy makers seeking early intervention, and contribute to the growing body of research acknowledging the positive effects of preschool attendance.