At What Age Do Children Enter Kindergarten?

As your child turns age three or so you might begin wondering at what point he/she enters Kindergarten. The answer is generally that children enter kindergarten at or around age 5. This means that if your child is four and will turn five within a certain period of time then he/she will be allowed to enter kindergarten. But, if he/she turns five after the specified date then your child will not begin kindergarten until the following year. Most states have very similar protocol, but may differ somewhat. So, as soon as your child turns four you need to begin looking into when your child is old enough to start kindergarten.

Also, many parents choose to wait until their child is six to start kindergarten. It really depends on your child when you choose to send him to kindergarten as long as it is within the normal age ranges. Some five year olds are right on schedule and can easily start kindergarten while other children need a little more time to mature before they begin. You will need to evaluate your child, talk to other parents, and even the schools kindergarten teacher to determine what level your child is at and if he is ready for kindergarten or not.

Some kids do really well being the oldest in their class. They are usually more developed; more mature, learn quicker, and better at sports than their peers. This makes them feel great about themselves and fosters self esteem. Then, there are the children who go to kindergarten early. They may not be as socially ready as some of the other children and get picked on because of it. Or, they may be well ahead of others. Each child is different and it is really hard to determine where your child falls without actually evaluating him.

Remember that with the states guidelines for age and kindergarten your child might start right after he turns five or he may have to wait a full year and begin when he/she is just turning six. The rules are the rules and while some states do have some leeway almost all states are starting to lean away from allowing four year olds to begin school with children who are also turning six. The difference in age really can affect the social environment and might have a negative impact on some of the younger children.

For instance, currently in North Carolina lawmakers are considering a law where children who turn five by the beginning of school may enter kindergarten and those who do not will be required to wait until the following year. Only time will tell, but most parents are realizing that sending their children to kindergarten when they are actually five years old is a better plan than trying to rush them.

  • annon

    Thank you for posting this. I was so confused hearing about kids going in at age 3! (and no they didn’t mean prek). No way is my kid ready for kindergarten right now.


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