Early VS Late Kindergarten Enrollment

Early VS Late Kindergarten enrollment – Is your child Kindergarten-ready at a young 5 years old? Or should you put off enrollment a year when your child is closer to 6? The pros and cons of late Kindergarten enrollment and early Kindergarten enrollment

Many parents with children’s birthdays that fall near registration cutoff dates often have the freedom to get their child into Kindergarten when the child is VERY close to 5 years old or VERY close to 6 years old. In other words, it becomes a choice that many parents are uncomfortable making – especially for parents who are sending their first-born to school for the first time.


Most parents know when their child is “Kindergarten-ready” (at least socially) just by observing their social skills and emerging skill-sets. Some parents may be tempted to enroll their child in Kindergarten “as soon as possible” to offset the cost of day-care.

I know many parents that have rushed their Kindergartner while still 4 years old and I know many that have chosen to wait until their kids were closer to 6 years old. There are benefits to both ways, providing of course, the child is ready.

Children who enroll in Kindergarten as early five year olds may be naturally precocious or well-suited socially because they have been around like-aged siblings or a large network of preschool friends. These parents also felt that their child has mastered basic Kindergarten-Ready tips and guidelines and may “just know” that their child is ready or they have the benefit of experience based on what a child’s older sibling has gone through.

Parents of children who enroll in Kindergarten later (near age 6) often cite the benefits of physical maturity knowing that the older Kindergartners can have as much as 20% more life experience than the young 5 year-olds. The mental and physical readiness is often a factor more so for boys than girls. I’ve known parents of boys who flat-out said they wanted their son to be as tall or as mature-looking as their soon-to-be peers. They’ve also mentioned that their son might not stand a chance in sports down the road if they enroll them as an early starter.

A study from the University of Missouri suggests that rushing a child into Kindergarten early could be detrimental. The study states that the youngest Kindergarten students are the ones most likely to be held back. The study’s author also lists the child’s height as being a factor.

Using these Kindergarten readiness tips AND sound judgement are needed if your child’s birthday falls near Kindergarten enrollment cutoff dates. If you’re still unsure, don’t hesitate to meet with school administration and teachers to learn how to know if a child is ready. The experts at Great Start Collaborative of Oakland County are another fantastic resource that can be utilized at no cost.

Early VS Late Kindergarten Enrollment Sources – 

For more Early VS Late Kindergarten Enrollment advice, visit https://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2014/0303-youngest-kindergarteners-most-likely-to-be-held-back-mu-study-finds/

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