If I’m Unsure About My Child’s Readiness for Kindergarten Who Can Help

If I'm unsure about my child's readiness for kindergarten, who can help?

Other adults who know your child, including professionals, can help. If your child has been to day care or nursery school, the first people you contact will probably be his teachers. Since they have a basic understanding of kindergarten requirements and have had many opportunities to observe children, they'll be able to advise you. As long as you like and trust them, their judgment may be very helpful. If you continue to have questions, seek the opinion of a developmental specialist who assesses school readiness. Your pediatrician may also be of help in addressing your concerns. Friends who have held their children back a year can share their thoughts with you, and elementary school counselors or principals will discuss the issue and offer information on kindergarten readiness. You might also want to visit a kindergarten classroom and ask yourself if you can picture your child there, ready for formal schooling.

Most parents who have held their children back a year have not regretted taking the extra time for growing and maturing. And most preschool programs offer pre-kindergarten classes. A child who starts kindergarten when he's developmentally ready is better able to meet academic demands and get along with others throughout his schooling. When children don't have to struggle to keep up—academically, socially, or emotionally—they develop a strong sense of self-confidence, and this provides a good foundation for the school years.