For infants and toddlers, school readiness refers to their developing capacity to self-regulate, demonstrate curiosity, communicate effectively, and develop close, secure relationships. Good health and proper nutrition support this developing capacity. This happens within the context of nurturing, culturally responsive relationships with parents, caregivers, extended family, and community.
School readiness is foundational across early childhood systems and programs. It means children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children's learning, and schools are ready for children. Head Start views school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning and life. Physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development are all essential ingredients of school readiness. Managers, teaching staff, caregivers, family advocates, and families can learn more about creating enriching and supportive learning environments for young children ages birth to 5.