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KinderCare kids are 4 months better prepared for elementary school

March 27, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore (March 27, 2018) – Data show that kindergarten students who attended KinderCare Learning Centers are better prepared for first grade – in fact, on average, children enrolled at KinderCare were four months ahead of kindergarten students nationally. The results come from a study conducted using the TerraNova, a widely-used and reliable tool in assessing kindergartners and their readiness for elementary school.

Studies have shown that full-day kindergarten helps to close achievement gaps and boosts student learning, resulting in greater gains in reading and mathematics.  Beyond cognitive skills, social-emotional skills, which are “important predictors of successful lives,” are also shown to be promoted through early education programs. This investment in developing the whole child provides persistent boosts, resulting in greater effects on later-life outcomes. But not all programs are created equal – studies have also indicated that effective factors for the most successful early learning programs include an “intentional, evidence-based curriculum.” Ongoing professional development for teachers, another hallmark of KinderCare, also support positive child outcomes. 

 “The data are clear. Early childhood education is crucially important to the long-term success of our children,” said Dr. Elanna Yalow, Chief Academic Officer for KinderCare Education. “The foundation that we set even before children enter elementary school determines their preparedness and confidence for a lifetime of learning, and it sets the stage for their success as they become our future leaders and workforce. These findings are a testament to the learning environment and experience we provide for the children at our KinderCare Learning Centers.”

As the leading provider of child care and early childhood education, KinderCare has nearly 50 years of experience in creating an environment designed to help children succeed. With a mission rooted in building whole child confidence – social, emotional and cognitive – KinderCare develops curriculum that helps children learn and grow from infants to school-age.

In addition to assessment results from the TerraNova, the quality of early learning at KinderCare is further validated by independent, third-party accreditation. Accreditation is the gold standard in designating high-quality early learning programs, involving evaluation of curriculum, classroom observations, family feedback, health and safety checks, and staff evaluations. While fewer than 10 percent of early education programs in the United States are accredited, KinderCare has now reached nearly 100 percent accreditation for its 1,280 community learning centers across the country, making it the largest provider of accredited early learning in the U.S.

Assessment Methodology

The TerraNova, a standardized year-end assessment, was administered to 1,212 kindergarten students in 148 KinderCare Learning Centers throughout the U.S. The students were five years old at the time of the research. The assessments were conducted in March 2017.

About KinderCare® Learning Centers

For nearly 50 years, KinderCare Learning Centers have been a place where every child can learn, explore, and discover in a safe and nurturing environment in more than 1,280 community-based centers. We lead the nation in accredited centers and are passionate about providing children a sense of discovery while preparing them for success in school and beyond. To learn more visit us online at, on Facebook or on Twitter. For resources, information, and activity ideas for parents and teachers of young children please visit