Can Center-Based Care Reduce Summer Slowdown Prior to Kindergarten? Exploring Variation by Family Income, Race/Ethnicity, and Dual Language Learner Status

April 2020
Meghan McCormick, Mirjana Pralica, Paola Guerrero Rosada, Christina Weiland, JoAnn Hsueh, Barbara Condliffe, Jason Sachs, Catherine Snow

This study examines growth in language and math skills during the summer before kindergarten; considers variation by family income, race/ethnicity, and dual language learner status; and tests whether summer center-based care sustains preschool gains. Growth in skills slowed during summer for all children, but the patterns varied by domain and group. Non-White and dual language learner students showed the largest drop-off in language skills during summer. Lower-income students demonstrated slower summer growth in math skills than their higher-income peers. Students enrolled in summer center-based care had faster growth in math skills than those who did not attend care. Yet lower-income students who attended center-based care showed slower growth in language skills during summer than similar nonattenders. Implications are discussed.