Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Table 5.3. Types of state and district requirements for kindergarten entrance and attendance, by state: 2012
 
State Compulsory age Kindergarten entrance age   State requires district
to offer full-day
kindergarten program
  State requires
kindergarten
attendance
United States1   12   16  
               
Alabama 6 5 on or before 9/01   Yes   No  
Alaska 7 5 on or before 9/01   No   No  
Arizona 6 5 before 9/01   No   No  
Arkansas 5 5 on or before 8/01   Yes   Yes 2
California 6 5 on or before 10/01 3 No   No  
               
Colorado 6 5 on or before district count date   No   No  
Connecticut 5 5 by 1/01   No   Yes  
Delaware 5 5 on or before 8/31   Yes   Yes  
District of Columbia 5 5 by 9/30   Yes   Yes  
Florida 6 5 by 9/01   No   No  
               
Georgia 6 5 by 9/01   No   No  
Hawaii 6 5 on or before first day of instruction 4 No   No  
Idaho 7 5 by 9/01   No   No  
Illinois 7 5 on or before 9/01   No   No  
Indiana 7 5 on or before 8/01   No   No  
               
Iowa 6 5 on or before 9/15   No   No  
Kansas 7 5 on or before 8/31   No   No  
Kentucky 6 5 on or before 10/01 5 No   No  
Louisiana 7 5 on or before 9/30 6 Yes   Yes 7
Maine 7 5 on or before 10/15   No   No  
               
Maryland 5 5 by 9/01   Yes   Yes  
Massachusetts 6 LEA option   No   No  
Michigan 6 5 on or before 11/01 8 No   No  
Minnesota 7 5 by 9/01   No   No  
Mississippi 6 5 on or before 9/01   Yes   No  
               
Missouri 7 5 before 8/01 9 No   No  
Montana 7 5 on or before 9/10   No   No  
Nebraska 6 5 on or before 7/31   No   No  
Nevada 7 5 on or before 9/30   No   Yes  
New Hampshire 6 LEA option   No   No  
               
New Jersey 6 LEA option 10 No 11 No 12
New Mexico 5 5 before 9/01   No   Yes  
New York 6 LEA option   No   No  
North Carolina 7 5 on or before 8/31   Yes   No  
North Dakota 7 5 before 8/01   No   No  
               
Ohio 6 LEA option 13 No   Yes  
Oklahoma 5 5 on or before 9/01   Yes   Yes  
Oregon 7 5 on or before 9/01   No   No  
Pennsylvania 8 LEA option   No   No  
Rhode Island 6 5 on or before 9/01   No   Yes  
               
South Carolina 5 5 on or before 9/01   Yes   Yes  
South Dakota 6 5 on or before 9/01   No   Yes  
Tennessee 6 5 on or before 8/31 14 Yes   Yes  
Texas 6 5 on or before 9/01   No   No  
Utah 6 5 on or before 9/02   No   No  
               
Vermont 6 5 on or before 1/01 15 No   No  
Virginia 5 5 on or before 9/30   No   Yes  
Washington 8 5 on or before 8/31   No 16 No  
West Virginia 6 5 on or before 9/01   Yes   Yes  
Wisconsin 6 5 on or before 9/01   No   No  
Wyoming 7 5 on or before 9/15   No   No  
† Not applicable.
1 The total reflects the number of "Yes" responses in the column.
2 In Arkansas, pupil attendance is mandatory, but parents may request a waiver.
3 In 2014, California's kindergarten entrance date will change to 5 by September 1.
4 In 2014, Hawaii's kindergarten entrance date will change to 5 on or before July 31.
5 Kentucky's kindergarten entrance date changes to 5 by August 1 in 2017.
6 The entrance age in Orleans Parish, Louisiana school district is 5 by December 30.
7 Louisiana specifies mandatory half-day attendance or test for first-grade readiness.
8 Michigan's kindergarten entrance date will change to 5 by October 1 in 2014 and in 2015, the date will change to 5 by September 1. Parents with children that turn 5 by December 1 may ask for their child to be permitted to attend kindergarten.
9 The law is different for metropolitan school districts. Those districts may establish and enforce a regulation which requires that a child is 5 years old for purposes of kindergarten and summer school prior to a kindergarten school terms, on or before any date between August 1 and October 1 of that year.
10 A district may admit to kindergarten any child over the age of 4 and under the age of 5, and shall admit any child over the age of 5 and under 6 who is a resident of the district.
11 The Abbott district is required to offer full-day kindergarten.
12 Children are required to attend full-day kindergarten in the Abbott district.
13 Districts may choose to set the cut-off date for August 1 or September 30.
14 In 2014, Tennessee's kindergarten entrance date changes to 5 by August 15.
15 Local education agencies may choose to set the kindergarten entrance date between August 31 and January 1.
16 In Washington, full-day kindergarten is being phased in beginning in the 2012-13 school year, starting with the highest-poverty schools.
SOURCE: Kindergarten Policy Characteristics, Education Commission of the States, retrieved April 10, 2013 from http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/01/06/80/10680.pdf. Data Source
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.