Missouri kindergarten teachers' perceptions of early childhood experiences
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Most parents today are faced with the decision of what type of childcare will best prepare their children for school. With increased emphasis on student achievement, parents and educators need to know what skills students need in order to start school ready to learn and what type of childcare is best in preparing children to start school ready to learn. This descriptive and comparative study used a web-based survey that was sent to all public school kindergarten teachers in the state of Missouri. The research questions investigated what early childhood setting kindergarten teachers perceive to be the most beneficial in preparing students for kindergarten in the area of enthusiasm towards learning, academic skills, and social skills. The research questions also investigated teachers' perceptions of a standard expectation of skills that constitute kindergarten readiness. The study found that kindergarten teachers perceive preschool to be the most beneficial setting in preparing students for kindergarten in the area of enthusiasm towards learning, academic skills, and social skills. This study also found academic skills; social skills; recognizing and writing name; sits still, listens, and follows directions; motor skills; taking care of personal needs; are what kindergarten teachers perceive to be the most important skills students need in order to be ready to start kindergarten.