Kindergarten Readiness

The early years of a child’s life are crucial in creating a foundation for life-long learning and success. The Minnesota Department of Education is committed to ensuring all children’s readiness for school by providing services and supports to teachers, administrators and other professionals. Services and supports include: professional learning, early learning standards and assessment, professional knowledge and competencies, early learning scholarships and prekindergarten through grade 3 alignment.

According to Minnesota statute, a child is ready for kindergarten when he/she:
  •     Is at least 5 years of age by September 1 of the child’s enrollment year (Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.20).
  •     Has received early childhood screening (Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.17).
  •     Has received medically acceptable immunizations (Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.15).

Schools must be prepared to support and respond to all children’s individual needs because children arrive at kindergarten with a wide range of experiences and competencies. Supporting readiness that is inclusive of children’s’ skills and knowledge at kindergarten entry can inform future program and district planning and teaching.

When a child arrives at kindergarten, he or she will exhibit his/her knowledge and skills across multiple learning areas as described in learning and academic standards. These include social and emotional, math/science/social studies (cognitive), physical, the arts, and language/literacy/communication domains. How each child develops and demonstrates skills in each learning area is different.

Opportunities for learning experiences through family and early care and education settings prior to kindergarten increase a child’s ability to exhibit age-appropriate skills and behaviors.

Expectations at kindergarten entry are spelled out more fully in the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards. Examples of knowledge and skills listed in the standards are below. This list is meant only to illustrate examples of children’s development and is not intended to be a checklist or assessment of children’s skills.