PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – According to Sara Mead’s ‘Policy Notebook’ in Education Week, while kids used to start kindergarten at 5 years, there’s been a trend to move the cut-off age closer to 6. That rationale has to do with increased academic expectations in kindergarten, for which some 5 year-olds aren’t ready.

But, early childhood experiences, individual development and family background play a large part in readiness for kindergarten, more so than a child’s age. Parents can decide best when a child is ready for school.

For children whose families can’t afford quality preK, delaying a year means their kids might fall even farther behind their peers — remaining older than their classmates, with perhaps negative consequences.

What’s needed according to Mead is better access to quality preK and other learning opportunities. Schooling should be viewed as a continuum from early childhood through elementary school. Regardless of where the cut-off is set, kids develop at different rates and schools need to support all those stages.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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