School Readiness Program

School Readiness Program

School Readiness is a public school program for children ages 3 and 4. The purpose of the program is to prepare children to enter kindergarten.

School Readiness programs must meet certain requirements, including:

  • Assessing each child's cognitive and language skills with a comprehensive child assessment instrument when the child enters and again before the child leaves the program to improve program planning and implementation, communicate with parents, and promote kindergarten readiness.
  • Providing comprehensive program content and intentional instructional practice aligned with the state early childhood learning guidelines and kindergarten standards and based on early childhood research and professional practice that is focused on children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills and development and prepares children for the transition to kindergarten, including early literacy and language skills.
  • Coordinating appropriate kindergarten transition with parents and kindergarten teachers.
  • Involving parents in program planning and decision making.
  • Coordinating appropriate kindergarten transition with parents and kindergarten teachers.
  • Cooperating with adult basic education programs and other adult literacy programs.
  • Ensuring staff-child ratios of 1:10 and maximum group size of 20 children with the first staff required to be a teacher.
  • Having teachers knowledgeable in early childhood curriculum content, assessment, native and English language development programs, and instruction.

Eligibility for School Readiness Program

A child is eligible to participate in a School Readiness program if the child:

  1. Is at least three years old on September 1;
  2. Has completed health and developmental screening within 90 days of program enrollment; and
  3. Has one or more of the following risk factors:

a.    qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch;
b.    is an English learner;
c.    is homeless;
d.    has an individualized education program (IEP) or standardized written plan;
e.    is identified, through health and developmental screenings under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19, with a potential
       risk factor that may influence learning; or
 f.    is defined as at risk by the school district.

School Readiness Biennial Plan Included in World’s Best Workforce Plan

School Readiness programs must include a biennial plan in the district's World's Best Workforce plan, describing how their School Readiness program meets the program requirements listed above.

Slide Fee Scale

A district must adopt a sliding fee schedule based on a family's income but must waive a fee for a participant unable to pay. School districts must use School Readiness aid for eligible children. Children who do not meet the eligibility requirements may participate on a fee-for-service basis.

Supporting Documents