The Summer After Kindergarten: Children’s Experiences by Socioeconomic Characteristics

Stephanie Burns
John Ralph, National Center for Education Statistics
L. Jane Hall, Activate Research, Inc.

The summer months can hold a wide range of different activities for elementary students, with numerous options including family vacations, camps, and home learning activities. Children who come from different socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds may have different access to various activities as well as different arrangements for primary care during the summer months. Variations in summer activities and care arrangements in the summer following kindergarten may have significance in achievements gaps widening by SES during this time. These achievement gaps may also have association with future high school achievement and college enrollment. 

This Statistics in Brief serves to investigate contributing factors to achievement gaps in the summer after kindergarten. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011) is used to compare participation in summer activities across two socioeconomic characteristics—household poverty status and parents' highest level of education—while information on summer activities was gathered through interviews with parents or guardians in the fall of 2011 when most children had just completed kindergarten. This brief is organized by study question and each section is presented first for the overall student population, then household poverty status, and parents' highest level of education.