Education Commission of the States has researched kindergarten policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource. Click on the questions below for 50-state comparisons showing how all states approach specific kindergarten policies Or, choose to view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.
- Kindergarten entrance age:
- In half of the 50 states plus D.C., students must turn age 5 by the end of September to attend kindergarten.
- Nineteen states requires students to turn age 5 on or before Sept. 1.
- Kindergarten attendance requirement:
- Fifteen states plus D.C. require children to attend kindergarten at age five or require kindergarten attendance prior to enrolling in first grade.
- Thirty-five states do not require kindergarten attendance.
- Compulsory school age:
- Most states require children to attend school by age 6 (26 states) or age 7 (14 states).
- In eight states – Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia – plus D.C., the compulsory school age is 5.
- Pennsylvania and Washington require children to attend school at age 8.
- Compulsory School Age
- Kindergarten Entrance Age
- Age Exemptions / Waivers
- Child Must Attend Kindergarten
- District Must Offer Kindergarten
- District Offering Exemptions / Notes
- Minimum Required Days / Hours for Kindergarten
- Kindergarten Entrance Assessments
- Curriculum and Alignment
- Kindergarten Standards
- Teacher:Student Ratios
- Access to Kindergarten: Age Issues in State Statutes
- State Legislation – P-3: Kindergarten
- State Legislation – P-3: Kindergarten–Full-Day Kindergarten
- Inequalities at the Starting Line: State Kindergarten Policies
PUBLISHED: March 1, 2014
RESOURCE TYPE: 50-State Comparison