Each school district has its own requirements for children entering kindergarten. Below are some common requirements with ideas for how to fulfill them.
Legal Proof of Age
Generally, children must be five years old on or before a set date. The following items are commonly used to show proof of age:
- Certified birth certificate (this can be obtained through the bureau of vital statistics state where your child was born). For more information, contact your local health department.
- Baptismal record (obtain this at the church where your child was baptized).
Other possible forms of proof (depending on the requirements in your school district) include:
- A notarized statement signed by a doctor that he/she believes the child to be of required school age
- Insurance policy (which has been in effect for at least two years)
- Hospital records from your child's birth
Proof of Residence
Generally two of the following items, in the parent or legal guardian's name, are required:
- Electric bill
- Telephone bill
- Voter registration card
- Rental contract
- Notarized statement
Each state has minimum requirements that must be met. Generally a child must have had a recent physical exam and be up to date on immunizations. Many states require specific paperwork be completed to show that these requirements have been met. Check with your school to see what is needed.
Get this form from your child's future school. It tells the school that you intend for your child to attend school there. (It benefits the children and families to turn these forms in on time as it allows the schools to properly plan for how many teachers and classrooms they will need to have the next year.)
Information which may be included on the forms include:
- Parent/guardian name(s), address, and telephone numbers
- Names of people that are authorized to pick up your child from school
- Social security number
- Language spoken in the home—special services are available to children whose primary language is not English
Note: If you have any difficulty filling out the enrollment form, contact the school for help. If they don't have the answer to your question, ask them to find someone who can.
Meal Program Application
The school should provide applications for free and reduced price breakfast and lunch. Some schools distribute these at enrollment, others wait and send them home the first day of school. These forms ask about the child's parent/guardian's income in order to determine if the child is eligible for these services.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Head Start Association. © 2000–2007 National Head Start Association. All rights reserved.