Factors Influencing School Readiness of Children

What is School Readiness?

The importance of topics like school preparedness and school transition has increased recently. Even the language itself lacks standard definitions. The following are typically used by experts in Ontario to define what is meant by “school readiness.”

  • The phrase “transition to school” refers to programs that get kids ready for a more structured environment. Three main types of programs are often offered to children between the ages of 3 and 5.
  • For children ages 2 to 5, pre-school is a play-based environment that encourages learning. Preschool programs are provided by a range of governmental and private groups and can be structured or casual. Preschools are optional and could charge for their services.
  • In order to facilitate the start of curriculum-based learning, Junior Kindergarten (JK) is frequently but not always provided in a school-based context. Typically, kids are 3 or 4 years old when they enroll in JK and 4 or 5 years old when they graduate. Although JK is publicly financed, attendance is optional.
  • All schools in Ontario offer Senior Kindergarten (SK) as a publicly supported “transition to school program for 4 and 5 year olds” in a school-based setting (at the start of the school-year). JK and SK are available as alternate full-day or half-day options.
  • Some schools provide Kindergarten that is full-day. The Full Day Kindergarten Program will soon be made available to all of Ontario’s schools.
  • The phrase “school readiness” is used to describe a child’s readiness for first grade. In Ontario, first-graders are typically 5 or 6 years old.

Admissions for kindergarten are around the corner but how can parents gauge a child’s proficiency in school readiness. The concept of school readiness is understandably difficult to grasp for parents or childcare practitioners. School readiness can be loosely translated as a base level of understanding and development a child needs for being enrolled in kindergarten.

Many parents use the age of the child as a key factor to weigh their school readiness. However, experts deem an intricate formula to determine if children are ready for school. There is a deep complexity regarding what characteristic qualifies for a school-ready child. This article will explore major influencing factors in a child’s readiness development.

Social-Emotional Development

Commonly, kindergarten would be the first time where children are separated from their parents for a longer duration. It would also be the first moment of interaction with a multitude of peers coming from different backgrounds. Additionally, even the teacher would be an unfamiliar adult giving children instructions and commands to follow diligently. Hence, a good grasp of age-appropriate social skills will assist the child to shred off any beginner’s anxiousness.

A balanced emotional aptitude is key for children to cope with school independently or without recognizable aid. Children also need to learn self-control and not display aggressive behavior. A parent can instill social and emotional attributes by prepping toddlers with a company of similar-age children. This is a key step in improving a child’s social skills and helping them solve problems with peers. Moreover, social and emotional factors, like academic pressure and bullying, affect children’s anxiety levels. Dealing with an anxious child entails patience, understanding, and consistent support. Parents and teachers can help by acknowledging the child’s feelings and providing reassurance.

Language Skills

The job to develop children’s language and literacy skills begins when they are born. Establishing a good communication standard helps children incorporate basic oral vocabulary and the ability to convey their wants and needs. This is an important skill for a child as it will help him/her to question confidently and address queries.

This also forms an essential foundation for reading and literacy development as more complex vocabulary is introduced. Each child will learn to read at their own pace and the age will vary greatly. However, parents can successfully develop a child’s language and literacy skills by encouraging the use of good vocabulary at home, early reading sessions, and playing word-based games. Any unusual delay in the child’s ability to read needs to be addressed with the aid of professional consultation.

Key Thinking Ability

Cognitive development encompasses multiple components, including creative expression, reasoning, problem-solving, logical thinking, and learning acquisition. A study in 2015 showed children who enroll in schools with an early knowledge of mathematics and cognitive thinking are bound to excel academically. Hence, toddlers who understand the concepts of cause-and-effect and object permanence from an early age help them adapt to school’s curriculum better.

Parents need to conduct playful activities to cultivate the child’s curiosity and sense of exploration. During the child’s early development, a child should be encouraged to ask questions and show eagerness to learn. Hence, a positive atmosphere, either at home or at an early learning center, will inspire children to pursue new experiences. It helps them to explore different fields with confidence and curiosity.

Factors Affecting School Readiness

School kid of Nara, Japan

A child’s level of readiness to succeed in a school setting is referred to as school readiness. It includes a variety of abilities that are important for academic success on the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical levels. Here are some elements that may influence students’ preparation for school:

1. Early childhood experiences – A child’s preparedness for school may depend on the level of their early experiences, including their exposure to language, reading, and mathematics.

2. Parental involvement – The preparation of a child for school can be positively influenced by parents who are interested in their child’s early learning and education.

3. Social and emotional development – Children who have grown in their social and emotional capacities, such as self-control and interpersonal communication, are more likely to be prepared for school.

4. Health and nutrition – The physical and nutritional well-being of a child might affect how ready they are for school. Children who are healthy and well-fed have a higher chance of being able to learn.

5. Language and communication skills – Effective communication and language comprehension are essential parts of being prepared for school.

6. Cognitive development – The readiness of a child for school can be influenced by cognitive abilities including attention, memory, and problem-solving.

7. Access to resources – A child’s preparedness for school can be greatly influenced by the accessibility of resources like books, educational toys, and learning tools.

8. Cultural background – A child’s preparedness for school can be greatly influenced by the accessibility of resources like books, educational toys, and learning tools.

9. Because different cultures may have different expectations for education and different approaches to learning, cultural differences might affect how prepared a child is for school.


It is important to remember that these variables are connected and that they may influence one another. For instance, a child’s cognitive development can be impacted by their social and emotional well-being, and their access to resources can have an affect on their language and communication abilities.