EHS School Readiness Goals
Foundations Early Head Start (FF EHS) has developed School Readiness Goals through guidance from the federal Head Start Office, input from the FF EHS Parent Policy Board and the leadership of Director Chris Dunkereley. These goals are built around the parent-child relationship. FF EHS believes that, beginning with expectant families, healthy, loving relationships between parents and their children will lead to success in school and in life. In addition, the program seeks to understand each parent’s own experience in the education system and how that may impact their child’s readiness for school. The program’s school readiness goals are incorporated into the program’s curriculum; The Ounce Scale.

Below are three examples of the school readiness goals and how they impact the parent/child relationship and the child’s school readiness.

School Readiness Goal: Develops secure attachment and the ability to relate to persons, objects, and information.

As mom and baby gaze into the mirror enjoying one another’s’ smiles, laughter, and sounds, they are building a strong bond with each other. The newborn loves being close to mom and seeing their reflections in the mirror. This shared attention helps the baby expand her world beyond the immediate environment, focus on objects in a way that promotes “knowing” about them, and realizing that adults can be a source of information. All of this is done within the context of a meaningful relationship with the mother.

School Readiness Goal: Promoting language and literacy through relationships

At a recent socialization, the mother and baby are reading a book called “My First Body Book”. Lap sitting and snuggling while looking at a book is a good way to support attachment as well as language, literacy, and other communication skills. In this picture, the mother is poised for interactive (dialogic) reading with her child. She explains what is going on in the picture. As the baby’s expressive language develops the mother can ask her about the picture, so the baby can becomes the storyteller. She is pointing to the words, allowing the baby to learn that print, not only the pictures, carries the message.

School Readiness Goal: Using play for exploration and problem solving

During our community-helpers socialization, father and son are interacting in the dress up area, pretending to be firemen. They are using imagination and creativity, while exploring the concept of community helpers. The play was related to a book they had read earlier. The dad was explaining to his son what the dress-up items were and why the fireman wore them, and why their job was important. This creative approach to learning about the world helps children feel good about themselves as learners. Role-play also helps with imagination as children move from imitation of role behavior to an understanding of the role. They then are able to try out different approaches and think of new things related to the role. The ability to imagine helps in more abstract school subjects such as math and geography.

The following list includes all the FF EHS School Readiness Goals and the outcomes associated with each goal:


Personal Connections: It’s About Trust (Social Emotional)

• Children will establish secure attachments to parents.


Feelings About Self: Learning about Me (Social Emotional)

• Children will express who they are, manage their own behavior and express their feelings, needs and want.

• Children will exert self-control and independence at school.


Relationships With Other Children (Social Emotional)

• Children will establish routines outside of the home environment.

• Children will develop trusting relationships with peers and adults at school.


Understanding and Communicating (Language)

• Children will learn and use words to describe what they are thinking and doing.

• Children will use language as a tool to understand and communicate in the classroom setting. Early language development leads to success in reading and school.


Approaches Toward Learning

• Children will explore, use imagination, understand concepts, develop curiosity, and enhance creativity.


Exploration and Problem Solving (Cognition)

• Children will demonstrate persistence in learning and discovery.

• Children will demonstrate how to make things happen, solve problems and anticipate consequences from planned experiences.


Movement and Coordination (Gross & Fine Motor and Adaptive)

• Children will control their bodies and hands so they can learn, explore, create and do simple tasks for themselves.


Health, Nutrition and Safety

• Children and their families will practice a healthy lifestyle.

• Expectant parents will participate in prenatal care and healthy nutrition to ensure the best possible outcomes for baby.

• Children will play and learn in safe home environments



• Parents will have a relationship with the preschool setting in their community or school district.

• Children will understand what to expect in their new environment.


ALL GOALS are culturally sensitive and adapted to meet the varying developmental needs of children. The program will aggregate child assessment data three times a year, analyze the data, share the information from the data with parents and community members and revise/add to the school readiness goals when a need is identified from data analysis.