Kindergarten Age in USA – What Age Do Kids Start School (A Guide For Parents)

Kindergarten Age in USA - What Age Do Kids Start School (A Guide For Parents)

School life is one of the best times in a child’s life and this is the place where the child steps in the world of formal education. Many parents often wonder at what age should they start sending their kids to kindergarten and where most may take the age factor into consideration, factors such as kid’s social skills, motor, and physical skills, attention span, interest in learning, behavior, should also be considered. Let us find out in the following blog about the state-wise age criteria of different states and what are other important factors that can help the parents in determining the right kindergarten age in the USA for the kids!

Things to Remember When Determining the Kindergarten Age for Your Child

Here are some things that you should keep in mind or remember before you decide when to send your kiddo to kindergarten:

1. Taking Inputs From the Preschool Teacher

You know your kiddo well, but your kiddo’s teacher at preschool may help you in providing you with the valuable inputs regarding your child’s readiness to go to kindergarten. The teacher can help you how your child’s motor skills, social skills, confidence, and other skills are developing, which are of great importance as the child enters the next phase of schooling.

2. Thinking Long Term

As parents, we are often excited about our kid’s milestones and may find ourselves always in the rut to help our child achieve them as soon as possible and the same may sometimes apply in the case of schooling too. However, it is important that you think your decision thorough because it has implications such as if you start sending your kiddo to kindergarten at a younger age, this could mean getting a driver’s license early, early admission to college, etc. This could have its pros and cons.

3. Find Out Age Rules of Your State

You may think that your child is ready or not ready, but finding out the age rules for admission to kindergarten is also an important factor. Different states have different ruling regarding the kindergarten age limit. Make sure you check the age rules according to your state.

4. Every Child Is Unique

What may be suitable for one may not for the other child. This means that age criterion is an important parameter in determining at what age do kids start kindergarten, however, that is not the only criterion. If you feel that your child should wait another year before joining kindergarten, well, you should definitely consider that.

State-Wise List of Kindergarten Entry Age

In the United States of America, different states have a different kindergarten age range for kids. If you are wondering about what age to start kindergarten by state, well, it is important to note that as many as 32 states require the child to be of five years of age by or before September 1 in that academic year. However, around 11 states have this age cutoff limit before as September 1 to October 15, and Connecticut is the only state with January 1 as the cutoff age limit. There are seven US states which have local school-age rules eligibility. So, if you are interested in knowing kindergarten age in Texas, New York, Alaska, or other states, well, have a look at the following table, which will help you in providing a complete state-wise age guide:

State Kindergarten Entrance Age  Compulsory School Age 
Alabama 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Alaska 5 years old as on or before September 1 7 years old
Arizona 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Arkansas 5 years old as on or before August 1 5 years old
California 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Colorado 5 years old as on or before October 1 6 years as on or before August 1
Connecticut 5 years old as on or before January 1 5 years old
Delaware 5 years old as on or before August 31 5 years old
Florida 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Georgia 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Hawaii 5 years old as on or before July 31 6 years old as on or before January 1
Idaho 5 years old as on or before September 1 7 years old
Illinois 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old as on or before September 1
Indiana 5 years old as on or before August 1 7 years old
Iowa 5 years old as on or before September 15 6 years old by September 15
Kansas 5 years old as on or before August 31 7 years old
Kentucky 5 years old as on or before August 1 6 years old by August 1
Louisiana 5 years old as on or before September 30 7 years old
Maine 5 years old as on or before October 15 7 years old
Maryland 5 years old as on or before September 1 5 years old
Massachusetts Every school may have its own minimum age criterion 6 years old
Michigan 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old by or before December 1
Minnesota 5 years old as on or before September 1 7 years old
Mississippi 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old by or before September 1
Missouri 5 years old as on or before August 1 7 years old
Montana 5 years old as on or before September 10 7 years old
Nebraska 5 years old as on or before July 31 6 years old by or before January 1
Nevada 5 years old as on or before September 30 7 years old
New Hampshire Local age rules apply 6 years old
New Jersey Local age rules apply (the cutoff date must be October 1 or later than that) 6 years old
New Mexico 5 years old as on or before September 1 5 years old by September 1
New York Local age rules apply (anywhere between 4 to 6 years of age) 6 years old
North Carolina 5 years old as on or before August 31 7 years old
North Dakota 5 years old as on or before August 1 7 years old
Ohio Local age rules apply (usually 5 years old as on or before August 1 or September 30 6 years old
Oklahoma 5 years old as on or before September 1 5 years old
Oregano 5 years old as on or before September 1 7 years old (it can go down to 5 to 6 years in case of public schools)
Pennsylvania Local age rules apply (anywhere from 4 to 6 years, with a minimum of 4 years 7 months on or before the first day of school) 8 years old
Rhode Island 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
South Carolina 5 years old as on or before September 1 5 years old
South Dakota 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Tennessee 5 years old as on or before August 15 6 years old
Texas 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Utah 5 years old as on or before September 2 6 years old
Vermont Local age rules apply (5 years old as on or before August 31 to January 1) 6 years old
Virginia 5 years old as on or before September 30 5 years old
Washington 5 years old as on or before August 31 8 years old
West Virginia 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Wisconsin 5 years old as on or before September 1 6 years old
Wyoming 5 years old as on or before September 15 7 years old
District of Columbia 5 years old as on or before September 30 5 years old

Table Source:

No matter what age your child starts going to kindergarten, it is important that you as well as your child should be comfortable with the decision. Make sure you make the decision after taking into consideration or thinking about your child’s cognitive, social, and emotional readiness.

Also Read:

Ideal Age to Start Preschool for Children
Should Your Child Repeat Kindergarten
Preparing Your Preschooler for Kindergarten Admission