Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center on issues pertaining to children and youth, examined a range of available statistics to provide a portrait of the kindergarten class of 2013.
Based on a class size of 100 students, Child Trends reported the following about the kindergarten class of 2013:
· -98 “usually” or “always” smile or laugh a lot.
· -94 “usually” or “always” show interest and curiosity in learning new things.
· -93 “usually” or “always” are tender and affectionate with a parent.
· -89 are attending public schools; 11 are in private schools.
· -87 are between five and six years old; nine are older than six; and 4 are younger than five.
· -85 have parents who say their neighborhoods are “usually” or “always” safe. Ten years ago, there would have been 82.
· -84 use English as their primary language at home.
· -81 have one or both parents working full-time.
· -78 “usually” or “always” bounce back quickly when things don’t go their way.
· -76 live in a two-parent household; 21 live with their mothers only; two live with their fathers only.
· -75 received at least some breastfeeding as infants.
· -58 saw a dentist in the past year. Ten years ago, there would have been 42.
· -55 had some experience with center-based care as their primary care arrangement prior to kindergarten; 21 had no regular non-parental care arrangement prior to kindergarten; 15 were in home-based care with a relative; 6 were in home-based care with a non-relative.
· -54 ate meals together with all family members every day during the past week. Ten years ago, there would have been 53.
· -52 are non-Hispanic white, 23 are Hispanic, 16 are black, five are Asian/Pacific Islander, one is American Indian/Alaska Native, and two are of multiple races. Ten years ago, there would have been 61 non-Hispanic white children, 16 Hispanic children, 17 black children, four Asian/Pacific Islander children, and one American Indian/Alaska Native.
· -49 spend one or more hours on an average weekday watching television programs or videos, or playing video games.
· -48 were read to by a family member every day during the past week. Ten years ago, there would have been 45.
· -45 are covered by some type of public-assisted health insurance.
· -32 have one or more parents whose education extends to some college or post-secondary vocational training; 20 have a parent with a bachelor’s degree; 20 have a parent whose highest level of education is high school; 18 have a parent with some graduate (post-college) education; and nine have a parent who did not finish high school.
· -27 are overweight or obese. Ten years ago, there would have been 23.
· -27 are in families receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps). Ten years ago, there would have been 12. (Note: The increase is the result of expanded eligibility in 2008 and economic conditions.)
· -25 live in families with incomes below the poverty level, and an additional 22 are from “low-income” families.
· -24 are immigrants or children of immigrants. Ten years ago, there would have been 23.
· -12 have at least one limitation/disability. Ten years ago, there would have been 9.
· -11 have asthma. Ten years ago, there would have been 10.
· -10 don’t use any safety restraints (seat belt, car seat) when riding in a car.
· -9 have a special health care need, according to parents.
· -8 were low birthweight babies (less than five-and-a-half pounds at birth), a risk to optimal development that will persist into adulthood.
· -1 was the victim of substantiated abuse or neglect in the past year.
Child Trends provided the statistical composite by examining available data that are nationally representative of kindergartners or five- and six-year-old children in the U.S., and as close in time to 2013 as is available. The Child Trends DataBank offers information on more than 100 different child well-being indicators and is one of the largest databases of its kind.
More information can be found at: http://www.childtrends.org/news/news-releases/ready-or-not-here-comes-the-kindergarten-class-of-2013/