Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

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Question: What recommendations do you have for parents who are unsure if their children are ready for kindergarten?

Answer: Determining whether a child is ready for kindergarten is an inexact process. The National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends children start school when they are at the eligible age, and that schools provide an appropriate education. Others think it is a mistake to place a summer-birthday child in kindergarten, especially if the kindergarten is more academically rigorous.

Research indicates some younger children, but not all, experience academic disadvantages. There are also different positions on how long the effects of being younger last, ranging from third grade through high school.

A checklist may help determine readiness for kindergarten. Most school districts offer a list of the skills expected of children entering kindergarten. Look at these now. Even if your child doesn’t yet seem ready according to the checklist, he or she may be ready by August, as young children change quickly.

You will also get a good idea of your child’s kindergarten readiness by talking to his or her preschool teacher. This is an informed opinion you need. Finally, visit the preschool classroom. Notice how your child is handling the experience compared to the other students – socially, emotionally and academically. It will give you a good idea of how well your child will handle kindergarten.

Factor in his or her age, checklist results and preschool experience when making this important decision, and remember: You know your child best.

Incoming 2012-2013 Wake County kindergarten students must participate in the choice enrollment process to register for kindergarten and be assigned to a school. Learn more about the choice process and options for your address at any WCPSS school or by contacting the Office of Student Assignment at 919-431-7333. Non-English-speaking families can contact the Center of International Enrollment at 919-431-7404. For more information and a list of the documents you need to enroll your child, visit

Categories: Early Education, Education, Health and Development, Preschool Development, Preschool Early Learning, Preschoolers, School Kids, Sk Education