How do I know my child is ready for Kindergarten?

Anne Halsall March 27, 2019

Children who are ready for kindergarten typically have mastered skills in three categories - academics, physical readiness, and social emotional development. 

Here’s how to figure out if your child has mastered these skills and is ready to move on to kindergarten - and what to do if they’re not ready. 

Kindergarten

Children have developed a pre-reading foundation

The academic skills required for kindergarten mainly focus on a pre-reading foundation. These skills include speaking in sentences, retelling stories, writing their names, and recognizing the main parts of a book. Children should be able to turn the pages, know where to find the title, and the difference between illustrations and text.

Children display physical readiness through fine and gross motor skills

When children are physically ready to attend kindergarten, they have developed their fine motor skills, which means that children can hold writing utensils, squeeze glue bottles, button clothing, and manipulate small objects like beads. When starting kindergarten, children also have strengthened their gross motor skills, which is demonstrated by being able to climb, skip, ride a bike (with training wheels), and play outside games. In addition, children who are physically ready to attend kindergarten can take care of personal bathroom needs.

Children are capable of handling the social emotional aspect of kindergarten

Children who are emotionally ready for kindergarten know their own names and ages. They also follow multi-step instructions, cooperate in group settings, and are curious about new things. Being shy does not necessarily mean a child is not ready for kindergarten. Shy children may need extra time to unwind after school and/or may benefit from a half-day of kindergarten, but they are still capable of learning and doing well in kindergarten.

Children who are ready for kindergarten show age-appropriate development academically, physically, and emotionally.

Not all children are ready for kindergarten at the same time

Children typically start kindergarten when they are 5 years old. Kids who turn 5 in the summer will be on the younger end of their classmates and may benefit from another year of preschool. It’s okay to wait until the following year to start kindergarten, if parents and teachers decide that is the best option.

If you’re deciding between sending your child to kindergarten or sending them to preschool for another year, take into account their disposition and personality, as well as their intellectual skills. When in doubt, talk to current preschool teachers and future kindergarten teachers. Visit a kindergarten classroom to get an idea of what will be expected of your child, and, the most important thing - trust yourself. You know your child best and can discern the best decisions for him/her.

For those parents who decide their children are not ready for kindergarten yet - that’s okay! Send your child to preschool for another year and practice academic, physical, and emotional skills at home.

Kindergarten is a big step for families and, with the success of our children in mind, we want to make sure they are prepared and ready to take that step.

Preschool

Anne Halsall

Anne Halsall

Anne Halsall is the Chief Product Officer (CPO) and co-founder of Winnie. Anne is a product designer & developer with a background in knowledge systems & consumer technology. She has two boys and resides in San Francisco.

💡 How to Find the Best Preschool, Child Care & More

Winnie makes it easy to find the right program for your child. Just enter your zip code to see nearby providers on a map, compare prices, view photos, see parent reviews & more.

Search Daycares & Preschools Near You

🎓 Resources for Teachers & Caregivers

Welcome to Winnie! Get started at our provider page to create your free account and claim the child care listing for your program.

Join Winnie

About Winnie

Winnie is a marketplace for child care backed by a trusted community of parents and providers. Parents use Winnie to discover high-quality daycare, child care, and preschool for their children. Winnie strives to provide accurate information on childcare providers and resources for parents.

featured Post

At Winnie, we know there is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of your children. As your children grow, the day may come when you need to find a trustworthy and reliable childcare provider. Whether it’s time to head back to work, get a haircut, or go out on a date with your partner, you want to know your children are in the best of hands.

All parents know that air travel with a little one can be daunting. Comfort and routine — two critical components of a young child’s emotional safety net—are tough to find in a bustling airport or within the confines of an aircraft. Holidays are the most popular time for families to travel, but holiday travel also brings increased crowds and delays.