Early Entry to Kindergarten Testing Services
Why Would I Need Kindergarten Readiness Testing?
North Carolina public schools require that your child be age 5 by August 31st in order to enter kindergarten in the fall. If your child's birthday is on the wrong side of this cutoff, even by just a day, then he or she can't attend kindergarten without submitting a special application that includes the results of Kindergarten Readiness Testing.
What is the Process of Early Entry Kindergarten Testing?
Counties in North Carolina require parents to submit a "portfolio" that includes samples of the child's work, letters of recommendation, etc., as well as testing scores from an IQ and achievement test. (Note: School systems don't offer early entry to kindergarten testing; it must be obtained through a private evaluation.) IQ testing (also referred to use aptitude testing) taps innate abilities (verbal skills, nonverbal skills, processing speed) while achievement testing assesses reading and math skills. Your child will need to score at the 98th percentile or higher on the IQ test AND at the 98th percentile or higher in reading OR math on the achievement test. Testing can be administered as early as April 17th of each year. We recommend early entry kindergarten testing be completed and submitted to your school by June or July. However, the report and portfolio can be turned in no later than 30 days after your child's fall semester starts.
Wynns Family Psychology has offered early entry to kindergarten evaluations for decades, and the good news is we make it fun for your child! He or she will have no clue how important it is (or how you will be holding your breath until you get the results). Most kids who test with us leave the office asking, "When do I get to go back again?" The package typically includes the WPPSI-IV (IQ test), WJ-IV (achievement test), brief parent interview, written evaluation report, and a brief feedback session where we go over results and recommendations. Both tests are typically administered in a 2-hour block of time (unless your little one's attention span and activity level warrant giving the tests on two separate days), with a short break in between where your child can play for a few minutes or have a snack/drink from home.
If your child seems ready emotionally, socially, and behaviorally, and has demonstrated above average academic abilities, you may want to proceed with kindergarten testing. At Wynns Family Psychology, we believe kindergarten testing is usually worth a shot because it's so important to start your child when he or she is ready and enthusiastic!
When to Consider Early Kindergarten Entry and Readiness Testing
Although there is no perfect list of criteria to know whether your child is ready for early entry into kindergarten, you want to see that your child:
- Knows his or her ABC's and numbers at least 1-10 (even better if he or she can sound out some simple words or recognize some sight words)
- Can potentially show applied math skills (i.e., he or she has four blocks and can answer a question such as, "If I gave you two more blocks, how many would you have?")
- Has demonstrated the ability to sit for periods of time in a structured setting and attend a "lesson"
- Can handle separations from parents/caregivers well
- Is excited and ready to go to "big school"
- Is able to play well with peers (It's still normal for children to squabble over toys or fight, but you want to see your child playing well much of the time.)
- Has demonstrated the ability to respect adult authority figures (other than you) by following directions and instructions
- Can handle transitions during the day from one activity to the next
- Is mature enough to be able to function comfortably with a large group of older children throughout a 6-7 hour day
We Can Help with 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. We assess not only your child’s IQ and academic skills, but also screen their social skills, behavior, emotional development, and attention. For many parents, making the decision to send your child to kindergarten early, on time, or to possibly wait another year is a tough one. But we’re here to share our expertise in child development to help you with this important decision! Below we've listed several North Carolina counties and their information on Early Kindergarten Entry. Check out our Early Entry to Kindergarten Resources page for futher reading, a list of pros and cons to consider, and additional resources. If you can't find what you're looking for, please feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to answer any questions.