In this modern world of parenting controversies, few topics can get folks riled up like the issue of kindergarten readiness.
In Darien, in order to attend kindergarten in the 2015-2016 school year (registration will begin in late January 2015), children must turn 5 by January 1, 2016. However, even if children meet this cutoff date, parents have the freedom to decide that their children might benefit from an additional year of pre-school and may elect not to send their children until the following year. (For an overview of pre-kindergarten and transitional kindergarten programs in town, click here.)
This process of delaying kindergarten, which is often referred to as “redshirting,” is fairly popular in Darien. An article in the Stamford Advocate in 2012 analyzed enrollment data from 2007 to 2011 and found that in Darien only 38.7% of children born in October were enrolled in kindergarten at age 4 (as opposed to Stamford, where 88% of children born in October were enrolled at age 4).
Links to some of the more compelling arguments for and against redshirting have been collected here:
- Youngest Kid, Smartest Kid? by Maria Konnikova
- Delay Kindergarten at Your Child’s Peril by Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt
- The Lengthening of Childhood by David Deming and Susan Dynarski
- The Gift of Time by Elizabeth Graue, Janice Kroeger, and Christopher Brown
For parents considered enrolling their children in kindergarten for next year, Parent Awareness at the YWCA is hosting a kindergarten readiness panel at Blanchard Hall at St. John’s Church on Wednesday, December 3rd at 7 pm. Speakers will include Marcy Guddemi, President and CEO of the Gesell Institute of Child Development; Tim Canty, the Assistant Superintendent/Curriculum and Instruction K-12 for Darien Public Schools; and Laura Straiton, the Director of Darien Public Schools Early Childhood Program.
Parents in Rowayton, in particular, may be interested in The Kindergarten Journey program at the Community Cooperative Nursery School (4 Trolley Place, Rowayton) on Wednesday December 10th at 7pm. This presentation will be led by Dana Gorman, CCNS Educational Director and a former kindergarten teacher. RSVP to email@example.com.
Got questions or opinions about kindergarten readiness? Let us know in the comments below.