Early Education Providers

Early education is vital to a child’s success.

Preschool is the ideal time to introduce children and families to the importance of consistent on-time attendance and to encourage strong attendance habits. A high-quality preschool program can build early literacy and math skills, as well as develop the social and emotional foundation children need to persist in school. But preschoolers only receive the full effect of these benefits if they show up for class regularly.  What happens in preschool and early education can lay the foundation for good attendance habits in kindergarten and elementary school. The Why Attendance Matters handout on this page explains why early education providers should care about attendance and how they can establish good attendance habits from the start. Below are additional resources to help you take action.

Research
  • Research documents that missing more than 10% of school, starting in preschool, compromises the capacity of even a strong preschool program to instill the skills necessary for reading readiness and other school readiness skills.

    Why Attendance Matters for Early Education summarizes several research studies that explain how chronic absence in preschool and kindergarten can predict poor attendance and weak academic performance in the later grades. Additional research showing how chronic absence in early childhood education years can predict who will miss too much school later can be found in our Early Education Research section.

Family Engagement

Educating and motivating parents and caregivers to promote attendance during the early childhood years is essential and a challenge. Integrating attendance research, strategies and discussion into parent/caregiver programs and family events empowers parents to recognize the benefits for their children and to do something about it.

Try these key resources for engaging families:

  • Videos and discussion guides to enrich parent awareness:

    Bringing Attendance Home, a video from Attendance Works, features parents talking to other parents about reducing absenteeism.

    Every Day Counts from The Coalition for New Britain's Children features parents and other leaders and is a good introduction to stimulate peer to peer discussions.

    Handouts to support parent / caregiver engagement with their own children (English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese.)

  • Interactive workshops and exercised for parents/caregivers

    Routines that Rock - Song Workshop

    Routines that Rock – Chart for use at home. Guides families to develop tools and strategies for morning and/or evening routines that make consistent on-time attendance more likely.

    Routines that Rock activities can also be used for parent/child workshops.

Children's Engagement

Nothing motivates a parent like a child! Engaging children in tracking their own attendance daily, and recognizing progress weekly helps motivate children AND parents to pay attention to attendance. Materials from the Perfectly Punctual Campaign offer a successful structure for how to engage children directly.

Self Assessment

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

Toolkits

Preschool Attendance
The Attendance Works’ Early and Often toolkit helps high quality preschools engage and inform families so they are motivated to get their children to preschool every day possible.

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

Kindergarten Transition:
Attendance Works developed a toolkit for integrating attendance into practices designed to smooth the transition to kindergarten, from home or preschool.