New School, New Child Care: The Role of Child Care During the Transition to School and Child Well-Being

Amy E. Claessens, University of Chicago

Kindergarten is an important period of transition to formal school. Yet, the vast majority of American children have already experienced some formal schooling prior to kindergarten entry through participation in formal child care or preschool. For nearly half of all children, the transition is not merely moving from preschool or child care to kindergarten, but rather to a combination of kindergarten and out of school child care. This study aims to examine the role that child care plays in a child’s transition to school. This study uses a nationally representative sample of kindergartners (ECLSK) to examine the role of continuity and change in child care during the transition to school, paying particular attention to important subgroups of children who might have more difficulty with the transition. This study will help inform school readiness and child care policy; illuminating potential ways to help children successfully transition to school.

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Presented in Session 31: Parental Employment, Early Education and Development