What is Early Entry to Kindergarten?
The North Carolina Public School cutoff date for kindergarten entry throughout the state is August 31, to include Wake, Durham, Guilford, Orange, Lee, Harnett, Chatham, and Johnston counties. If your child will not yet be 5 years old at this time, and reached their fourth birthday by April 16th, and you feel he or she is ready for kindergarten, consider kindergarten readiness testing. Wynns Family Psychology has extensive experience and expertise with preschoolers and academic evaluations, including early entry to kindergarten, also referred to as readiness for kindergarten testing in NC.
Should I Try to Send My Child to Kindergarten "Early?"
Many parents with September/October babies assume their child will start kindergarten during the fall of their 5th birthday. But at some point they realize, “Oh no, my kid misses the cutoff and can’t go to kindergarten! Oh wait, he can, but he has to get tested! But what kind of test!?” For some parents, just researching the early entry process is overwhelming, so they decide to send their child to preschool for another year. For others, they want to do whatever it takes to get their child into kindergarten as soon as possible. But most parents seem to fall somewhere in the middle, having mixed feelings on the subject and a lot of questions. “Should I go through this kindergarten evaluation process to see if my child qualifies? Is it helpful to try to send my child "early?" I’ve heard my child has to be a genius to get in, so what’s the point?” Parents often need experienced guidance in sorting all of this out, and that's where we come in. As a practice that specializes in child testing and does a ton of Early Kindergarten Entry Testing every year, we help parents talk through these issues and concerns, and sort through the myths, rumors, and opinions out there. An in-person consult is always the best way to get the most current information and accurate recommendations for your child, but there are some general pros and cons to consider.
What are the Pros and Cons of Early Kindergarten Entry?
It's important to provide a challenging environment and enriching curriculum when your child is ready for the next stage of learning, but his or her emotional, social, and behavioral maturity are also important considerations.
Advantages of Starting Kindergarten “Early”
- Providing the challenging and enriching curriculum for which a child is ready. If a child is bright and ready for the next stage of learning, it is important to provide that challenging environment at the right time.
- Hitting the “window” for a child’s excitement and readiness. Many times a child who will be turning five in September or October has been anticipating going to kindergarten at age 5. Many of his peers are going to kindergarten this year and it’s helpful to enroll a child when he is excited and ready to go to “big school.”
- Financial – no more paying for expensive daycare and preschool.
- Time – Your child would be taken care of for 6-7 hours a day now leaving more time for parents to work, focus on other siblings, clean the house, get coffee…you get the idea.
Disadvantages of Starting Kindergarten “Early”
- If the child is immature emotionally, socially, or behaviorally, you may be setting your child up for failure or frustration. If your child has demonstrated in preschool or daycare, he is not able to sit and attend to a lesson, get along well with peers, or transition easily from one activity to the next, he may be put in a situation for which he is not ready, and it may set his entire educational experience off to a negative start. (Let alone this child will cause problems for the teacher and the other students who have to deal with his behavior.)
- If the child is not ready academically, again, she will be set up for a very frustrating year. If she is consistently requiring extra attention from the teachers because she does not understand the material, she is likely to develop a negative attitude towards school.
- If for whatever reason, your child is not developmentally ready for kindergarten, you may see other behavioral or emotional problems pop up (i.e., your child acts out because he is not ready for the structure and expectations of kindergarten.)
Learn More About Early Entrance to Kindergarten Testing
Wynns Family Psychology provides consultations and testing for kindergarten readiness to help parents determine if their child should enroll in kindergarten “early” or wait another year. Contact us, check out our kindergarten resources below, and visit our Early Entrance to Kindergarten Testing page to learn more...
Kindergarten Readiness Information for North Carolina Counties
Wake County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Durham County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Orange County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Johnston County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Person County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Guilford County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Charlotte / Mecklenberg County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Lee County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Granville County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Caswell County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Harnett County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Chatham County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry
Franklin County NC — Early Kindergarten Entry