Starting School Healthy and Ready to Learn: Using Social Indicators to Improve School Readiness in Los Angeles County

Wold and Associates, 874 N Holliston Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104, USA.
Preventing chronic disease (Impact Factor: 2.12). 11/2007; 4(4):A106.
Source: PubMed


School readiness is an important public health outcome, determined by a set of interdependent health and developmental trajectories and influenced by a child's family, school, and community environments. The same factors that influence school readiness also influence educational success and health throughout life.
A California cigarette tax ballot initiative (Proposition 10) created new resources for children aged 0 to 5 years and their families statewide through county-level First 5 commissions, including First 5 LA in Los Angeles County. An opportunity to define and promote school readiness indicators was facilitated by collaborative relationships with a strong emphasis on data among First 5 LA, the Children's Planning Council, and the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, and other child-serving organizations.
A workgroup developed school readiness goals and indicators based on recommendations of the National Education Goals Panel and five key domains of child well-being: 1) good health, 2) safety and survival, 3) economic well-being, 4) social and emotional well-being, and 5) education/workforce readiness.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and First 5 LA Commission adopted the school readiness indicators. First 5 LA incorporated the indicators into the results-based accountability framework for its strategic plan and developed a community-oriented report designed to educate and spur school readiness-oriented action. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a countywide consensus-building plan designed to engage key stakeholders in the use of the indicators for planning, evaluation, and community-building activities.
School readiness indicators in Los Angeles County represent an important step forward for public health practice, namely, the successful blending of an expanded role for assessment with the ecological model.

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    • "A large proportion of children do not have the recommended number of EPSDT visits (19,20). Underuse of these visits and lack of readiness for first-grade learning disproportionately affect children insured by Medicaid (1,3,13). "
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    ABSTRACT: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a schedule of age-specific well-child visits through age 21 years. For children insured by Medicaid, these visits are called Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT). These visits are designed to promote physical, emotional, and cognitive health. Six visits are recommended for the first year of life, 3 for the second year. We hypothesized that children with the recommended visits in the first 2 years of life would be more likely than others to be ready for school when they finish kindergarten. We studied children insured by Medicaid in South Carolina, born during 2000 through 2002 (n = 21,998). Measures included the number of EPSDT visits in the first 2 years of life and an assessment of school readiness conducted at the end of kindergarten. We used logistic regression to examine the adjusted association between having the recommended visits and school readiness, controlling for characteristics of mothers, infants, prenatal care and delivery, and residence area. Children with the recommended visits had 23% higher adjusted odds of being ready for school than those with fewer visits. EPSDT may contribute to school readiness for children insured by Medicaid. Children having fewer than the recommended EPSDT visits may benefit from school readiness programs.
    Preventing chronic disease 06/2012; 9(6):E111. DOI:10.5888/pcd9.110333 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    Preventing chronic disease 11/2007; 4(4):A85. · 2.12 Impact Factor

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