About the Program

During a child's early years, parents and caregivers play a key role in shaping language, literacy, math, and social-emotional skills. Active engagement of families and caregivers is the most effective way to make those critical developmental years count.

Empowering parents and caregivers of children birth to age 5

READY! for Kindergarten provides workshops and take-home materials and tools, to inspire and empower parents and caregivers to help babies and young children develop strong brain connections that determine how they will think, learn and grow.

Parents and caregivers attend a series of workshops each year, based on their child’s age. They learn new skills and helpful tips to nurture development in ways that foster academic skills and personal behaviors to boost children's motivation, perseverance and engagement in learning.

READY! facilitates interactions and active learning by using movement, play, exploration, communication and all of a child’s senses - seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting.

Age Level Targets

The READY! for Kindergarten curriculum is designed around 26 Age Level Targets©, or measurable skills, that most highly correlate to success in school. These research-based targets were developed by early learning experts, working closely with families, scientists and educators during a seven-year span.

Parents and caregivers use these targets to guide children toward developmental milestones in language, literacy, math, and social and emotional skills that a typical child must have by the time he or she begins kindergarten. The targets, grouped by age from birth to age 5, encourage active learning by using movement, play, exploration, communication and all of a child's senses.

On the right is an example of the READY! for Kindergarten Age Level Targets for children ages 3 – 4. Order a poster of our Age Level Targets to learn the measurable skills for every age group from birth to age 5.

Targets. Training. Tools.

The READY! for Kindergarten program provides targets (age-level learning goals), training (ways to “play with a purpose”), and tools (take-home materials and toys) to make learning at home fun, easy and effective.


The READY! curriculum is based on 26 important child development milestones. Each milestone or skill called a Target, is taught using play activities appropriate to the age of the child. The Targets include skills in three categories: language and literacy, math and reasoning, and social-emotional.


READY! gives parents and caregivers information and activities known to be highly predictive of later school success. READY! activities fit naturally into everyday settings and routines. READY! is a lifestyle: Read with child 20 minutes a day, and play a READY! activity for 10 minutes.


These include books, toys, games, puzzles, music CDs, and more, which support the Targets. The tools allow are kept by participants, giving families and caregivers equal access and reducing potential barriers for success. READY! also emphasizes how to play with a purpose using everyday items and activities for learning, such as counting leaves while walking or sorting toys by color.

Flexible READY! curriculum adapts to local needs.

READY! is designed to be implemented as a school-, community organization-, preschool- or child care provider-based program. The READY! curriculum and delivery model adapts to varying needs and early education opportunities including Head Start, preschool, home visitor, child care programs, and other models.

READY! has been proven to work with families of various demographics (e.g. poverty, at-risk, English as a second language, foster care, and more); it works equally as well in rural towns and large cities.

Lessons are available in English and Spanish, and can be adapted for other non-English speaking populations.

Additional skill-building time

The READY! for Kindergarten app is available to download for smartphones or tablets on the Apple App Store and on Google Play in both English and Spanish.

The app contains games and interactive books for children ages 2 to 5 based on many of the READY! for Kindergarten Age Level Targets©. The app is not a replacement for READY! parent workshops and daily play with a purpose skill-building time. Instead, it is designed for parents and children to play together to give children additional skill-building time and provide parents with data on their child’s progress.

Smartphone or tablet download only (not computers). This is a large app and will require Wi-Fi (not cell towers) to download.

iOS 10.0 or higher

Download App

Android 4.4 or higher

Download App

Additional Resources

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