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Kindergarten Readiness

 Ready to Grow…Ready to Learn…Ready to Succeed


In Kentucky, school readiness means that each child enters school ready to engage in and benefit from early learning experiences that best promote the child’s success. 


Families, early care and education providers, school staff, and community partners must work together to provide  environments and developmental experiences that promote growth and  learning to ensure that all children in Kentucky enter school eager and excited to learn. 


The five developmental areas for school readiness are:

  • Approaches to learning;
  • Health and physical well being;
  • Language and communication development;
  • Social and emotional development; and
  • Cognitive and general knowledge


The purpose of this definition is to give parents, child care and preschool providers, and communities an overview of the expectations of primary schools for incoming students and provide guidance to families and communities on how to prepare children for school.  In addition, a readiness profile provides teachers, child care providers, and parents a tool to better inform them on the specific strengths and needs of each individual child. 


These indicators represent the hopes and aspirations for incoming students, not the expectations. Children develop at different rates, not every child will have mastered all of the skills and behaviors listed below at the beginning of a primary program.   


Health and Physical Well-Being

My child:

Eats a balanced diet

Gets plenty of rest

Receives regular medical and dental care

Has had all necessary immunizations

Can run, jump, climb, and does other activities that help develop large muscles and provide exercise

Uses pencils, crayons, scissors, and paints and does other activities that help develop small muscles


Emotional and Social Preparation

My child:

Follows simple rules and routines

Is able to express his or her own needs and wants

Is curious and motivated to learn

Is learning to explore and try new things

Has many opportunities to be with other children and is learning to play and share with others

Is able to be away from parents/family without being upset

Is able to work well alone

Has the ability to focus and listen


Language, Math and General Knowledge

My child:

Uses 5-6 word sentences

Sings simple songs

Recognizes and says simple rhymes

Is learning to write her name and address

Is learning to count and plays counting games

Is learning to identify and name shapes and colors

Has opportunities to listen to and make music and to dance

Knows the difference between print and pictures

Listens to stories read to them

Has opportunities to notice similarities and differences

Is encouraged to ask questions

Has his television viewing monitored by an adult

Understands simple concepts of time (night and day, today, yesterday, tomorrow)

Is learning to sort and classify objects


*These school readiness skills and behaviors are not to be used to determine school eligibility; all children who meet the legal age requirement are entitled to public school. 


**These school readiness skills and behaviors are aligned to Kentucky Early Childhood Standards and are designed to be used with the KIDS NOW Early Childhood Parent Guide and were adapted from the Final Report of the National Governors Association Task Force on School Readiness, the Northern Kentucky Council of Partners in Education Kindergarten Readiness pamphlet, the United States Department of Education School Readiness Checklist, the Maryland Model of School Readiness, and the School Readiness in North Carolina Report to the North Carolina State Board of Education.