Preschool and early care providers can lay the foundation for good attendance habits for life. This Why Attendance Matters handout lays out why early education providers should care about attendance and how they can establish good attendance habits from the start.


  • Attendance in the Early Grades: Why it Matters for Reading, February 2014. This brief summarizes a growing body of research which documents how many youngsters are chronically absent, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of the school year due to excused or unexcused absences. The research also shows how these missed days, as early as preschool, translate into weaker reading skills and makes a clear case for engaging families to reduce chronic absenteeism.
  • Kindergarten Attendance and Readiness for Baltimore’s Class of 2027, Baltimore Education Research Consortium, 2015. This brief finds that children enrolled in publicly provided early childhood programs are more likely to be kindergarten ready and less likely to be chronically absent. It also finds that the most vulnerable populations benefit the most from publicly funded early education programs.
  • Why Attendance Matters for Early Education (PDF). This handout explains how chronic absence in preK and kindergarten can predict poor attendance and weak academic performance in the later grades.

Family Engagement Tools:

Students and families need to understand the importance of attendance in the early years. Use these tools to share tips and develop a plan for improving attendance.

Health Handouts

These fliers help parents decide when their children are too sick for school.


The “Bringing Attendance Home” video, created by Attendance Works, presents parents giving parents advice on improving attendance. The “Every Day Counts” video created in New Britain, Connecticut, shows parents the value of enrolling their children in preschool and attending classes regularly.

Self Assessment:

Use this tool to examine whether your program has the right policies and practice in place to improve student attendance. If possible, find an opportunity for a team of key stakeholders to take the assessment. Compare your answers. If you have differences in opinion about an item, take the time to explore why you may have different perceptions and what that might mean for action steps.


Preschool Attendance: The Chicago Office of Early Childhood Education developed this toolkit to help preschool programs promote good attendance.

Kindergarten Transition: The University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development has developed a toolkit to help preschoolers manage the transition to kindergarten, based on a program used in the Pittsburgh Public Schools in recent years.



Perfectly Punctual offers a program for teaching good attendance to preschool students.


The Lee County, Fla., Early Childhood Learning Services has developed several documents to secure good attendance in their Head Start programs.

The Community Action Partnership Tulsa County developed this Attendance Improvement Action Plan for preschoolers with too many absences.


May 2015

February 2012.

To find out more about the work our presenters do, visit their websites at: