Working together through continuous learning to improve the quality of life for all in DeKalb County, Indiana
An education initiative of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County

Early Childhood Learning: What We’re Doing and What We’ve Accomplished October 2013

Brochure Pic 1percentage-of-kindergarten-students-ready-october-2013

Our vision

All children in DeKalb County will enter Kindergarten ready to learn as assessed by a shared definition of “readiness.”

What we’ll accomplish

90% of Kindergarten students will enter school at the benchmark “ready” for every class in every school in DeKalb County by 2015.

Data we’re using to measure progress

The percent of entering kindergarten students screened as “ready” based on a common definition of kindergarten readiness shared countywide.


Baseline 2011: 38%

Year Goal Actual
2012 50% 56%*
2013 75% 54%
2015 90% TBD

*In 2012, the kindergarten readiness screening tool was revised to align with the U.S. Department of Education’s expectations for letter identification.

Current status
  • Beginning in January 2014, United Way will support the goals of the Early Childhood team by providing staff time and resources to facilitate a focus on ages 0-3.
  • 54% of entering Kindergarten students in 2013 were screened as “ready” in all three domains (academic, language and socio-emotional), down from 56%.
  • Indiana has seen a 30% increase in child poverty since 2007, the 8th largest increase in the U.S. (2011).
What we’re doing to achieve our goals
  • Planning to meet jointly with Parenting Education team.
  • Exploring the use of ISTAR-KR by pre-schools. ISTAR-KR is a pre-kindergarten rating scale based on a teacher’s observations of a child’s skills in five domains: English/language arts, mathematics, physical, personal care and social-emotional skills. The ISTAR-KR is available at no cost to all public schools in Indiana, and to private early childhood education programs.
  • A second early learning summer calendar is being planned for families of children entering kindergarten in Fall 2014. The calendar includes dates of countywide age-appropriate learning opportunities and community resources providing summer educational programs, along with suggestions for reading to your child, healthy habits, family fun and easing first day jitters.
  • Continuing to collect information regarding children’s care and educational experiences prior to entering school.
  • Continuing to create awareness around the contribution of high quality early care and education programs to a child’s preparedness for school.
  • Promoting Early Childhood Alliance’s free online childcare search feature at

Oct 2013 Early childhood road map PDF