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Kentucky State Department of Education Leverages Hanover Data Analysts

Supporting KDE’s Strategic Research Plan and State Kindergarten readiness goals.

The Challenge: Take Strategic Action on Kindergarten Readiness Goals

Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) needed a data-savvy partner to help address key questions on kindergarten readiness in its strategic research plan. Hanover identified three main research questions to guide the strategy:

  • Do students’ kindergarten readiness rates differ by their Pre-K care settings?
  • Does the availability of each Pre-K care setting type differ across Kentucky’s regional networks?
  • Do differences in the availability of Pre-K care settings correlate with the kindergarten readiness of a regional network?

The Solution: Gather and Analyze Key Data

To address each research question, Hanover developed three distinct research strategies:

Descriptive Analyses: Hanover collected state-level public data to compare kindergarten readiness percentages between student groups from the following Pre-K care setting types:

  • State-funded
  • Head Start
  • Child Care/Private Preschool
  • Home Care
  • Other

Cross-Reference Data:  To identify regional trends in Pre-K care setting availability, Hanover employed a three-step approach with district-level data:

  1. Match districts to their corresponding regional networks
  2. Aggregate district enrollments for all Pre-K care settings
  3. Divide Pre-K care setting enrollments by total enrollments in each network to determine availability percentages

Regression Analyses: Hanover estimated associations between kindergarten readiness percentages and the number of Pre-K care settings available.

The Outcome: Support for Measuring Progress on Goals

By partnering with Hanover Research, KDE gathered key data on its progress toward its goal of 64.1% kindergarten readiness by 2017.

Child Care Students are More Kindergarten Ready

Students from child care settings have the highest kindergarten readiness rate (70%), while students from home settings have the lowest (38%).

Gaps Exist in Pre-K Care Setting Availability

  • Certain regional networks have significantly fewer state-funded child care settings
  • State funded centers enroll
    the greatest percentage of
    students across the five networks

Number of Available Settings Predicts  Kindergarten Readiness
Schools with four Pre-K care settings have a higher kindergarten readiness rate than schools with no prior settings  (3.72 percentage points).


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The Client

Kentucky State Department of Education


Government, Education


Frankfort, KY

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