Kindergarten Entry Age and Household Food Insecurity
Objective: In this paper, we examine the effects of school entry age, presenting empirical evidence on the food insecurity aspect of the problem. Methods: We used 2 nationally representative samples of US children in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) and 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011), allowing for cross-cohort comparisons. The 2 data sets both include detailed information on food security conditions. The ECLS-K focuses on children's educational experiences from kindergarten through the 8th grade while the ECLS-K:2011 follows children from kindergarten through the 5th grade. Results: We found no statistically significant relationship between kindergarten entry age and food insecurity in the overall sample in both cohorts of ECLS-K 1998-99 and 2010-11. Sub-group analyses suggest that children from low-income households entering kindergarten at a later age are significantly less likely to have household food security in the 2010-11 cohort. Conclusion: The rising financial pressure in modern society makes it harder for low-income families if children have to delay kindergarten entry.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2020
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