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Getting Ready for Kindergarten

← Back to Enrollment and Registration

Registration for new 2017-18 Kindergarten students

Age requirement: Children must be 5 years old by September 1 in order to enroll in kindergarten. Every child who is 5 years old by September 1 must be enrolled in a kindergarten program this fall or have an approved waiver.

Countywide Kindergarten and New First Grader Registration begins the week of February 27-March 3. During this week, no appointment is required for registration. Please bring needed documents to your assigned school.

New to the area? Was your student a Kindergartener in a different district? Fill out enrollment forms and make an appointment with your child’s upcoming school →

Kindergarten teachers are prepared for children to enter school with varying abilities, strengths and needs. Each child is taught at his/her appropriate level through differentiated instruction. Learn more about what your child will learn in kindergarten.

The Year before Kindergarten

Prior to kindergarten there are many things parents can do to support their child’s transition to school. From making sure appropriate documentation is gathered, to playing and reading with and listening to their child, the year before Kindergarten is a great opportunity to develop school readiness!

Off to Kindergarten Guides


September – November

  • Determine kindergarten eligibility.
  • Locate the school that serves your neighborhood.
  • Become familiar with readiness behaviors.
    • Complete some of the Tips activities.
    • Point out the school to your child.


December – February


March – May

  • Gather required documents for registration.
  • Determine date and time for your school’s kindergarten registration. This is typically the last week in February or the first week in March. Please call the school in your attendance area to confirm dates and times.
  • Register your child for kindergarten.
  • Review the Off to Kindergarten guide handed out at registration.
  • Visit the school with your child, play on the playground.
  • Attend Children’s Discovery Fair at East Columbia Library in April.


June – August

Additional Resources for Children Birth-5

  • Ready At Five – resources about what you can do with your child, starting at birth, to help him/her be ready to succeed in school.
  • Launch into Learning – initiative from the Howard County Early Childhood Advisory Council to help families prepare their children for school.
  • Vroom – download the Vroom mobile application and learn how daily learning activities can be both fun and exciting for you and your child.

Contact Us:

Contact the Office of Early Childhood Programs, 410-313-5693, with any additional questions.