VIRGINIA (WVEC) -- One-third of all Virginia kindergartners may not be fully ready for school, according to a new report.

The report done by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission says the one-third start school lacking social, self-regulation, literacy, or math skills needed to start that grade.

It was estimated that one-third, or 34 percent, were not prepared, however no statewide comprehensive data exists.

A child's health development can be a strong influence if the child is not prepared for school. Factors that could affect health include poverty, low birth weight, and maternal substance abuse.

Students who are not prepared for kindergarten are more likely to be held back, enrolled in special education classes, and preform poorly in later grades.

Those same students are also more likely than their peers to commit crimes, become teen parents, and rely on public assistance as they get older.

Several programs offered by the state of Virginia are working, but there are some that need more research orr assurances of program quality.

There are four main early childhood development programs intended to improve brain and skills development:

  • Voluntary home visiting
  • Pre-kindergarten
  • Child care
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs

The report offered 18 recommendations and 5 options to improve Virginia's early childhood development programs.

One recommendation is for Virginia to join other states that assess the readiness of all kindergartners across multiple readiness domains.

Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) program was examined and has been found to improve literacy. However, the report claims the impact of kindergarten readiness is unknown through this program.

For the full report, click HERE.