An Investigation of Early Literacy Outcomes by Socio-Economic Status and Race/Ethnicity
Worthington, Kelly Lane
McLaughlin, Margaret J
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The purpose of this study was to examine the early literacy outcomes of children prior to school entry and describe the magnitude of outcome and experiential differences by socio-economic status (SES) and racial/ethnic groups. In addition, I examined the extent to which SES, race/ethnicity, child, home, and early care/education factors and experiences explained early literacy outcomes. My study was an extension of research conducted by Lee and Burkam (2002) about early literacy outcomes at kindergarten entry. I used the full sample data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), a study of a nationally representative sample of children in the United States. The results of this study show large gaps in the 48-month early literacy scores when examined by SES and a wide variation in child experiences prior to school entry. The findings suggest a need for specific and targeted consideration of group outcomes when revising, creating, and funding federal early childhood policies that are designed to improve group early literacy outcomes prior to school entry.