Starting kindergarten is a big and exciting step for all our five-year-olds and their families. To help everyone feel prepared for this brand new experience, the Collaboration for Early Childhood has gathered some helpful pointers and tips to ease the transition to Kindergarten.
Kindergarten Registration Information:
Children must be 5 years old by September 1st in order to start kindergarten. Connect with your local school district for registration information:
- Forest Park District 91: if you live north of I290 (Garfield School), call 708-366-6945; if you live south of I290 (Betsy Ross School), call 708-366-7498 or visit https://www.fpsd91.org/
- Oak Park District 97: call 708-524-3000 or visit www.op97.org/hr/kindergarten-registration
- River Forest District 90: call 708-771-8282 or visit www.district90.org/about/kindergarten-registration
What is Kindergarten Readiness?
There are four key aspects of child development that parents can nurture to help ensure their children are ready for kindergarten. The Collaboration refers to these as the 4 Building Blocks of Kindergarten Readiness. They are:
- Social & Emotional Development
- Self-Care, Physical Well-Being & Motor Skills
- Language & Communication Skills
- Early Academics
Kindergarten is a big transition for your child and for YOU! To help you ease the transition as you get ready to start a new school year, it can be helpful to prepare for what to expect.
Here are a few tips to ease the transition to kindergarten:
- Make sure your child has the completed health requirement documentation. There is a physical, dental and vision form.
- Talk with your child about any feelings they may be having about the new experience, and reassure them it’s OK to feel however they are feeling!
- Read books together about “getting ready for kindergarten”. You can find many at your local library.
- Develop daily routines including consistent wake-ups and bedtimes so they can begin to get used to a school schedule
- Visit your child’s school playground to get a “lay of the land” and plan your drop off and pickup routine together.
- If you need after school care, plan ahead and start looking at options now. You can search after school options in our Early Childhood Resource Directory.
Continue being your child’s first and most important teacher. Get connected to local resources to support learning at home:
- Oak Park Public Library and River Forest Public Library both offer 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. A fun, long-term challenge to read every day. These libraries also will have great recommendations of children’s books about starting kindergarten that parents can read to their child.
- Sign up for Ready4K, a FREE evidence-based text messaging program to help incorporate learning into everyday routines (tips are based on your child’s age). Learn more.
Additional Resources for Parents and Caregivers Preparing for Kindergarten:
- Visit the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Transition to Kindergarten page
- How Parents of Preschoolers Can Support Social-Emotional Development from Brookes Publishing
- Building Social an d Emotional Skills at Home | NAEYC
- Parent Resources, Tips, and Advice from PBS Parents
- Social and Emotional Learning: Strategies for Parents from Edutopia
- How do children become ready for school? Learn how school readiness begins at birth from Zero to Three
- Digital Apps & Tools for Kindergarten Readiness from Oak Park Public Library
You can watch the video below and see more videos in the article, Helping Preschoolers Build Self-Regulation Skills That Are the Foundation of Success.