Early math ability is one of the best predictors of children’s math and reading skills into late elementary school. Children with stronger math proficiency in elementary school, in turn, are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. However, early math skills have not historically been a major focus of instruction in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. This brief presents the findings from a study of two early math programs — Making Pre-K Count and High 5s.

The Making Pre-K Count and High 5s studies test two math programs to examine whether it is possible to improve children’s early math abilities, and whether improvements in this “linchpin” outcome lead to impacts on children’s other short- and longer-term outcomes.

The current analysis examines the cumulative effects of both programs on children’s math, language, and executive function skills in kindergarten. The Making Pre-K Count program entailed a comprehensive redesign of both the content and teaching of math in the prekindergarten (pre-K) classroom, and the High 5s program provided a second year of math enrichment for a provides more information about these two early math programs.