Kindergarten Readiness

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? What Skills Does She Need?

It’s kindergarten readiness time in daycares and preschools. Is your child prepared for this transition?

Soon kindergarten-age children will be going through kindergarten readiness tests and screenings to assess their skills prior to kindergarten registration.

What can you do to help your child get ready for this milestone in his or her education? First, your child needs to meet your local school’s guidelines for kindergarten. There’s not much your daycare or preschool can do for that – but do check with your school to find out age and immunization requirements.

Kindergarten Screening

Your child may take part in a kindergarten screening to assess his or her readiness. Check with your school for dates of these important screenings. If such screening is provided by the school, it will often include a parent section as well as various tests and activities for your child.

Kindergarten Readiness Skills

What are the basic kindergarten readiness skills? Does your child’s daycare or preschool prepare your child for this transition?

The skills your child needs to have before entering kindergarten cover a range that includes physical, social, academic, and life skills. Answers vary, but most educators agree that these are all part of the list:

  • Your child can follow rules directions and rules.
  • He can recognize authority.
  • She can listen to a story.
  • She talks in sentences.
  • He can manage bathroom needs and can dress.
  • She can recognize shapes and can sort objects by color, size, and shape.
  • She can count to ten.
  • He can use scissors, crayons and a pencil correctly.
  • He knows his name and address.
  • She knows basic colors.
  • She is able to hop on one foot, skip and walk backward.
  • He can bounce and catch a ball.
  • She can point to and identify body parts such as elbow, knees, hips, shoulders.

There are many more skills that can be added to the list, and each school may have its own set of readiness skills that they want children entering kindergarten to have.

Day Care versus Preschool?

So, which facility does a better job preparing your child for kindergarten? Both daycare centers and preschools can do a great job, but it is up to you to be sure that your child is being properly prepared. Whether your child is in a daycare or a preschool setting, you should be sure that basic readiness skills are being taught. If your child is of kindergarten registration age, visit with his or her preschool teacher or daycare worker and discuss the skills your school has indicated are important to be sure that the daycare is working on those. If you are working with your child at home, be sure to include these readiness skills in your everyday activities.

You can also assess your child at home using a Kindergarten Readiness Exam. The use of such a checklist will help you to see which areas may still need work before your child actually goes through a kindergarten screening process.

For more on Kindergarten Readiness, see Kindergarten Readiness & School Skills Checklist.