700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Dec 14, 2022
young girl reading

This is a great question! Having an idea of what your child should know and be able to do when they start school will give you the confidence to determine if your child is ready for kindergarten.

Preparing your child for kindergarten starts at an early age. Knowing letters and numbers is what parents usually expect as a determining factor for kindergarten readiness. However, the skills that are most important for success in school are communication, social and behavioral, problem solving, and following directions.

So, Are They Ready?

If your child is in preschool, it is best to speak with the teacher, who will have an excellent understanding of your child’s development.

If your child is not in preschool, speak with your pediatrician. They can give you a better understanding of the developmental milestones your child should be meeting based on their age.

Taking your child to visit the classroom they will be attending can also be very helpful. Watch how your child moves around the classroom and interacts with the teacher. Are they showing curiosity? If other children are present during the visit, notice how they interact with their potential classmates.

Here are a few questions to ask, to help determine if your child is prepared for kindergarten:

  1. Do they demonstrate self-control? (Are they able to keep their hands to themselves, share well with others and play well with others?)
  2. Are they able to demonstrate self-help skills? (Using the restroom on their own and putting on their coat without help)
  3. Are they able to follow directions and communicate their needs?
  4. Do they know their first and last name? Can they write and identify their name?
  5. What does their fine motor skills look like? (Can they use scissors, hold a pencil or crayon, build with blocks)
  6. Can they identify letters and numbers?
  7. Do they show interest in books?

Language and early literacy skills are huge in the first five years of a child’s life. When you make reading a daily routine for your child, you’re helping them develop those language skills they need to learn to read. Not only is reading essential but talking to your child frequently about lots of different things will help them know how to communicate. Vocabulary is a big part of school success. When parents support language development children become more effective communicators at an earlier age. Children will learn more easily because their receptive and expressive language skills will be stronger. They will feel understood and they will have a strong foundation for literacy and problem solving.

In the months before kindergarten, talk to your child and read books to them so they are practicing their listening skills, daily routines, and other elements of being in a classroom setting. Remember, as a parent you are your child’s first teacher!

Looking for More Parenting Tips?
Sign Up for Our Health e-Hints Newsletter

Featured Expert

Carneshia Edwards
Carneshia Edwards
School Health Liaison - Kindergarten Readiness
Tenelle Jones
School Health Liaison - Kindergarten Readiness

All Topics

Browse by Author

About this Blog

Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.