3-Year-Old Kindergarten Readiness
Kindergarten provides a secure social environment in which children’s learning and development can be guided and encouraged. It is important that these early educational experiences are positive as they provide the foundations for the more formal learning environment children will encounter when they start school.
There are a number of factors that need to be considered when thinking about kindergarten readiness. Age is one factor, but more importantly, we need to look at each child’s development and how they are able to cope in a social environment outside the family. Children will gain the most out of their kindergarten years and subsequent school years if they are socially mature and ready to cope with the expectations, learning environment and challenges that will be placed upon them.
Questions to ask when considering readiness for three-year-old kindergarten:
- Will your child be able (with support) to say goodbye to you or the person bringing them to kinder and separate without a great deal of distress?
- Will they be able to interact positively with others and find a sense of belonging within a group of 20 other children?
- If confronted with challenges can they ask for help?
- Are they beginning to share equipment and spaces with others?
- Can they follow a basic routine and instructions?
- Do they have the language to interact with both peers and teachers?
- Can they concentrate for short periods of time at activities of interest and can they work towards completing small tasks?
- Are they beginning to show independence with self-help and toileting skills? For example, how confident are they in feeding themselves and going to the toilet unaided?
- Are they able to help pack up and enjoy a song or story together with their friends?
When considering three-year-old kindergarten readiness please remember that beginning kindergarten is a major step in the education and learning journey. Readiness for kindergarten or school does not reflect parenting styles or the child’s intelligence; rather, it is based on their current development. If your child is not yet ready for kindergarten you might consider enrolling in one or more of the following alternatives to assist their development and growth of social skills:
- community activities, such as library story time sessions
- occasional care
- organised activities such as Gymbaroo or kinder dance.
4-Year-Old Kindergarten Readiness
As children begin four-year-old kindergarten we have higher expectations of their ability to interact appropriately within a large group, concentrate, complete tasks, and become involved in all aspects of the kindergarten program.
Questions to ask when considering readiness for four-year-old kindergarten:
- Is your child able to interact and find a sense of belonging within a large group of 29 other children?
- Do they show an interest in the environment around them, ask questions and engage in self-directed activities?
- Are they respectful of others and able to listen to and respond to those around them?
- Do they know how to take turns and share equipment?
- Can they follow instructions and respond to guidelines and routines?
- Are they capable of focusing their attention and being able to complete a task?
- Are they confident separate from their main carers with minimal teacher support?
- Do they have the language skills to join in conversations and activities with their teachers and peers?
- Are they beginning to showing signs of becoming an independent learner and decision maker?
- Can they take some responsibility for the kindergarten environment and resources? For example, looking after toys and equipment, helping to pack away, etc.
- Are they independent in their toileting skills? Are they capable in their self-help skills? For example, putting on their own jacket, opening their lunch box, etc.
- Are they beginning to self-regulate emotions, behaviours and responses to others?
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, or to discuss your child’s readiness for 3- or 4-year-old kindergarten.