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achieving this laudatory outcome and offer research and policy strategies that may help move the nation in this direction.

The Goal 1 Technical Planning Group (1993, p. 1) also highlighted three objectives for families and communities necessary to support school readiness:

Objective 1. All children will have access to high quality and developmentally appropriate preschool programs that help prepare children for school;

Objective 2. Every parent in America will be a child's first teacher and devote time each day helping his or her preschool child learn; parents will have access to the training and support they need; and

Objective 3. Children will receive the nutrition and health care needed to arrive at school with healthy minds and bodies, and the number of low-birthweight babies will be significantly reduced through enhanced prenatal health systems.

Clearly, the interplay of all of these objectives is necessary to ensure that young children are in the optimal state of physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being when they enter school.


The dimensions of school readiness outlined by the Goal 1 Technical Planning Group (1993) include aspects of physical health, as well as social, emotional, and cognitive development. These five dimensions are listed below (from Love et al., 1994, pp. 4–5):

Physical well-being and motor development

  • Physical development (rate of growth and physical fitness)

  • Physical abilities (gross motor skills, fine motor skills, oral motor skills, and functional performance)

  • Background and contextual conditions of [physical] development (vulnerabilities, such as prenatal alcohol exposure; environmental risks, such as harmful aspects of the community environment; health care utilization; and adverse conditions, such as disease and disability)

Social and emotional development

  • Emotional development (feeling states regarding self and others, including self-concept; emotions, such as joy, fear, anger, grief, disgust, delight, horror, shame, pride, and guilt; and the ability to express feelings appropriately, including empathy and sensitivity to the feelings of others)

  • Social development (ability to form and sustain social relationships with adults and friends, and social skills necessary to cooperate with peers; ability to

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