Five by When? Ramping Into The Kindergarten Readiness Act

by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com

This topic has come up several times this week at my talks, plus it was also an “Ask Tanya” question on my FB page (thanks Susan!) so it begs to be outlined again.

New Kindergarten Age Requirements

With the passing of Senate Bill 1381, also known as The Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, the Kindergarten age cut-off will be changing over a three year period beginning next fall. Currently a child must turn 5 by December 2 in order to be eligible to enter Kindergarten that year.

Beginning in 2012, to enter Kindergarten a child must turn
5 by November 1, then
5 by October 1 for 2013, and finally
5 by September 1 for 2014 and all subsequent years.

This will line California up with the majority of other states across the country.

Transitional Kindergarten

What this also means is that while we transition to the earlier cut-off, there may be current preschoolers with fall birthdays who will just miss the new age cutoff by a few weeks, catching parents by surprise. For those children impacted by these changes, you will have the option of staying another year at your preschool, finding a school that offers a Developmental Kindergarten or DK (some charters and private schools offer this, sometimes it’s called “Preppy K”), or enroll your child in one of the LAUSD Transitional Kindergartens or TK programs established by the new law. There are about 38 schools piloting a TK program this year at various school sites across LAUSD. It is expected that the number of TK programs will jump to 100 in 2012, and swell to more than 500 by 2014, the year of full implementation.

The TK program is designed to offer Kindergarten content at a slower-pace for those children with late summer, early fall birthdays who, for a variety of reasons, are ready to go to school but who might not be ready for the full-paced curriculum of a traditional kindergarten. It will support a foundation of successful learning and offer preparation for Kindergarten. Giving children the “gift of time” in a two-year Kinder program allows the child another year to mature socio-emotionally, physically, developmentally and ease into the rigors of today’s Kindergarten expectations.

Schools opt to pilot a TK program if there is demand and adequate staff. Being a new program and managed site by site, much is yet to be determined regarding the overall quality and consistency of these programs, nonetheless it will be an option to consider as part of the new law.

More Information

Read about the Benefits of TK
Transitional Kindergarten FAQ (from CDE)
LAUSD pushes for TK Program 

For further information contact Ruth Yoon, LAUSD Administrator, Early Childhood Education at 213-241-4713 or ruth.yoon@lausd.net for a list of participating TK schools.


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Tanya Anton is the creator/founder of GoMamaGuide.com helping parents demystify and navigate their public school options in Los Angeles. To read more articles by Tanya or to learn about her Guidebooks, House Chats, Consultations, and popular Seminars, visit GoMamaGuide.com or email us at GoMama@mac.com.
© 2011 by Tanya Anton, GoMamaGuide.com All Rights Reserved.