Early and Often: Showing up in Preschool Matters 2.0 Toolkit (Attendance Works, February 2018)
Educators, policymakers, researchers and families agree: a high-quality preschool program can build early literacy and math skills, as well as develop the social and emotional foundation that children need to persist in school. But young children—whether in Head Start, public pre-kindergarten or in a private program—only receive the full effect of these benefits if they show up for class regularly.
How do you go about improving attendance in the preschool years? It starts with sharing that developing a habit of attendance is a key component of school readiness. It involves learning about how many absences are too many, encouraging families to bring their children to school every day even when it is hard, and engaging students once they are in the classroom. It can also include helping families get assistance to solve a significant barrier to getting their young children to school.
Students with good and improving attendance is a cause for celebration. So read on to find ways to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative!”
These strategies recognize that getting children to school every day on time is contingent on engaging families and helping them understand the importance of regular attendance and how missing too many days impacts their child’s success.
They have found that a three-tiered system of intervention can make addressing chronic absence more manageable, and nurtures a culture of attendance.