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Requirements for Kindergarten

Preschools and Kindergartens

Before you can enroll your child, you need to find out your school district's requirements for kindergarten. Every district in every state has different rules, so you'll need to contact your district to find out exactly what they need. Usually, districts will start pre-registration in the early spring before the fall semester when your child will normally start school. Kindergarteners have to spend a certain number of hours in school each year, and that determines whether they'll go to school full-time or part-time.

Requirements for Enrollment

Most states require your child to be at least five years old to be able to attend kindergarten. They will establish a deadline date, and if your child turns five after that date, they probably won't be able to attend until the following year. Some districts may make an exception if the date is close, or you really feel your child should be able to attend, due to a high IQ, their mental age is higher than their physical age, or they have advanced social and emotional behavior. There is a growing movement that believes children should not begin kindergarten until they turn six, because it gives them additional time to prepare, so they can learn more. Many parents are choosing to hold their children back so they spend more time in preschool and learn more skills.

Additional requirements include registration forms and emergency medical referral forms. You may have to provide a birth certificate or other proof of your child's identity and age, and proof of your residence, like a driver's license or utility bill. Almost all districts require proof of vaccination and immunization against specific diseases. You can check with your district to find out just what they require. Many districts require to see a copy of your child's social security card, and many ask for proof of a physical examination, as well. Your district should have a list of their requirements and a time line for registration online, so check out your local district website to find out their specific requirements for kindergarten.

Federal regulations require schools to have plans that help children move from preschool to elementary school, and they have to provide information on the developmental stages and what you should expect from kindergarten for your child. Ask your district for this information when you find out about their regulations for kindergarten.

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