Informations and abstract
Keywords: Pre-Primary Education; Early-Learning; National Standardized Tests; Childcare Inequalities; School Performance.
This article investigates whether having attended kindergarten or pre-primary school has an impact on students' performances in Italian and Mathematics, as measured by INVALSI standardized tests. For this purpose, the authors use sample data from the school year 2010-2011 (INVALSI's national survey). First, the essay provides a descriptive analysis of the phenomenon by correlating enrolment in pre-primary school with other background variables (gender, citizenship, regular attendance at school, ESCS). Second, the authors perform a hierarchical, linear two-level regression analysis by setting performances in Italian and Mathematics as a dependent variable. Along with nursery and pre-school enrolment, explanatory variables include the ESCS, gender, nationality, regular school attendance, geographic area of residence, whether the school is public, private or non-profit, and type of upper secondary school («liceo» versus technical or professional schools). The conclusion shows that there is a positive correlation between having attended kindergarten and students' performances in Italian and Mathematics.