School Readiness and Early Childhood Assessment

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Preparing Children, Families, Schools and Communities

In Virginia, School Readiness means preparing all children for kindergarten by supporting birth to age-five programming. Virginia's focus includes key classroom practices including the use of high-quality curriculum and assessment, teacher-child interactions and individualized professional development as well as strengthening family engagement.

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Virginia’s Definition of School Readiness (PDF) 
describes the capabilities of children, families, schools and communities that promote student success in kindergarten and beyond. Each component – children, families, schools and communities – plays an essential role in developing school readiness.



  • Ready Children are prepared socially, personally, physically and intellectually to meet literacy, mathematics, science, history/social science and developmental standards for four-year-olds described in Virginia’s Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS), Birth-Five Learning Guidelines (PDF) | Spanish.

  • Ready Families include parents and other adults who take responsibility for school readiness through direct, frequent and positive involvement with their children and by maintaining stable relationships and environments that promote healthy development and learning.

  • Ready Schools provide a seamless transition to a learning environment led by skilled teachers and welcome all children with opportunities to enhance and build their skills, knowledge and abilities. Learn more about Virginia preschools and curriculum.

  • Ready Communities – including businesses, faith-based organizations, early childhood service providers, community groups and local governments – support schools and families through information and access to high-quality child care and other early learning opportunities and services.

The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP)

Child wearing backpack holding and parent's handThe VKRP provides teachers, parents, and administrators a comprehensive understanding of students’ school readiness skills. VKRP complements Virginia’s statewide assessment of students’ literacy skills, using the Virginia Language and Literacy Screening System (VALLSS-PreK), with assessments of early math (using the Early Mathematics Assessment System or EMAS) and self-regulation and social skills (using the Child Behavior Rating Scale or CBRS).  

In Virginia, all kindergarten students take the Kindergarten VKRP in both the fall and the spring in public schools. In addition, three and four-year-old pre-K students may take the Pre-K VKRP, depending on the preschool program they attend.  

To learn more about VKRP and how it works, visit the VKRP website.

Curriculum Assessments 

VDOE approved curricula often include assessment tools as a part of a comprehensive curriculum . Use of curriculum assessments is up to the discretion of the provider to inform classroom learning and individualized activities.  

Curriculum assessments will be based on sound child development principles, align to learning activities and early childhood outcomes as defined by the ELDS, provide support for adapting learning activities based on assessment results, and are easily accessible and efficient to implement by teachers