Getting Ready for Kindergarten
HCPSS kindergarten is a full-day program. Registration for the 2023-2024 school year begins March 6, 2023. Children must be 5 years old by September 1, 2023, in order to enroll in kindergarten. Every eligible child must be enrolled in a kindergarten program this fall or have an approved waiver form.
Helping Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten
Kindergarten teachers are prepared for children to enter school with varying abilities, strengths and needs. Each child is taught at their appropriate level through differentiated instruction. Learn more what your child will learn in kindergarten.
Review the 2023 Road to Kindergarten slideshow for information about kindergarten readiness, the kindergarten program, and registering your child for school. 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 with, reading with and listening to their child, the year before kindergarten is a great opportunity to develop school readiness!
- Play, read, listen, and talk with your child. Ask questions, explore together.
- Provide opportunities for your child to play with others.
- Follow HCPSS on Twitter and/or Instagram.
- Determine kindergarten eligibility. Children must be five years of age on or before September 1 to enter kindergarten.
- Use our School Locator to locate the school that serves your neighborhood.
- Review the 2023 Road to Kindergarten slideshow for information about kindergarten readiness, the kindergarten program, and registering your child for kindergarten.
- Begin gathering required documents for kindergarten registration.
- Visit the library’s kindergarten readiness resources webpage for book recommendations, classes and other learning opportunities for your child.
- Develop consistent morning and evening routines that help children be most successful.
- Registration for the 2023-2024 school year begins March 6, 2023.
- Work with your child to develop school readiness, skills, behaviors and expectations.
- Check with your school about events for parents and children entering Kindergarten.
- Visit the HCPSS app and HCPSS News page to find ways to get connected to your school community.
- Attend any offered parent workshops at your child’s current preschool program, if applicable.
- Take your child on a virtual field trip with the “Howard County Library System’s Kindergarten Tour“
- Review the HCPSS “What Your Child Will Learn” Guides. Visit the Pre-Kindergarten guide for ways you can help your child get ready for kindergarten.
- Visit your school website or the school supply page to determine supply needs. Shop together for school supplies to create excitement about starting school.
- Participate in events offered by the school, such as Parent Orientation, Open House, PTA events, etc.
- Find books to read about going to kindergarten. Find book suggestions for parents and children via A+ Partners in Education page.
- Read I’m Off to Kindergarten: A Guide for Kids and their Families. Complete the “Let’s Talk” activities together.
- Review the HCPSS “What Your Child Will Learn” Guides. Visit the Kindergarten guide for ways you can help your child get ready for kindergarten.
- Review the Off to Kindergarten booklet.
- Check out and read books from the Howard County Library System’s Road to Kindergarten Booklist.
- Register and attend in-person, online, or pre-recorded Kindergarten Here We Come classes.
- Attend relevant parent workshops offered by your child’s new school.
- If your child is five years old by September 1st, and you have not registered your child, register them for kindergarten.
- If your child is not five years old by September 1st, they may be eligible for Pre-K. Review the qualifications.
- Continue to maintain consistent routines.
- Start and maintain good attendance habits. Children should attend school daily and on time. If your child is absent, please make sure to send a note to the school. For further guidance, please see the HCPSS attendance policy.
For questions about kindergarten registration, please contact your child’s school. For any additional questions, contact the Office of Early Childhood Programs, 410-313-5693.