Push To Delay New Entry Age For Kindergarten

February 26, 2024

Our state is changing the age requirement for kindergarten, and parents in our district and all over the state are concerned about what this means for their children's educational future and their bottom line.

Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, children need to turn 5 years old on or before September 1 to be automatically eligible for kindergarten. This is a change from the current kindergarten cutoff date of January 1. The four month difference has left the caregivers of 9,000 children scrambling to figure out if they can get their kids into kindergarten or if they’ll need one more year of preschool, which comes with a significant price tag of tens of thousands of dollars per child.

Waterbury mom Linnette Mendoza shared her frustration
with the kindergarten age law.

Parents can seek a waiver if their child is four years old but has a birthday between September 2 and December 31. The problem is that school districts are treating the waiver process differently. The tension is ratcheted up by the fact that preschool slots in Connecticut are the lowest they've been in nearly two decades.

A coalition of parents, advocates, and bipartisan lawmakers is advocating for $50 million in early childhood education funding and a one year delay in implementing the new cutoff date.

Pushing the start date of this law would:

  • give families and school districts more time to prepare
  • allow districts to hire more staff
  • potentially lead to expansion of preschools
  • give childcare providers an opportunity to open new, small businesses

Flexibility is the key to help everyone involved especially our children.

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