This study contributed to the school readiness literature by taking an intrachild perspective that examined the relations between Latino/a children's school readiness profiles and later academic achievement. Teachers rated the school readiness of 781 Latino/a kindergartners during the first month of school using the Kindergarten Student Entrance Profile (KSEP). Latent class analysis (LCA) examined KSEP profiles across social-emotional, physical, and cognitive domains and identified five distinct school readiness classes that described students' strengths and weaknesses at kindergarten entry. Among the predictors examined, gender was the only significant difference among the top two readiness classes, with girls less likely to be in the lower of these two classes (OR = 0.38). In addition, children in the bottom three readiness classes were significantly less likely than students in the top readiness class to have preschool experience (ORs = 0.02-0.19) and had significantly lower levels of English proficiency (ORs = 0.51-0.72). Class membership was significantly associated with scores on the Grade 2 California Standards Tests and only the top two readiness classes had reading fluency rates near or above a national benchmark at the end of Grade 2. The variation of early achievement found across readiness classes also showed that considering the pattern of a child's social-emotional and cognitive readiness might enhance school readiness assessment. Implications for integrating universal school readiness screeners within a comprehensive multigating assessment model are also discussed.
Early Childhood Education