The following policy statement was adopted by NAECS-SDE in 2013.
Download the entire statement here, or scroll through the table below to view the 10 policy components and their accompanying research.


The Power of Kindergarten:


10 Policies Leading to Positive Child Outcomes

Kindergarten is a powerful and pivotal part of the educational continuum for young children, linking their home, community, and preschool experiences to the "big school" and the world of more formal educational experiences. State and local policies regarding age of entry, retention, length of day, teacher credentials, attendance, curriculum,  assessment and accountability all impact the effectiveness and power of the kindergarten year.

Other components of a powerful kindergarten experience include:

  • Strong family engagement in their child’s education;
  • Knowledgeable and systemic administrative support for appropriate classroom practices; and
  • Transition practices that create a strong and ongoing connection between every child’s preschool experiences and their kindergarten and beyond learning experiences.

All children benefit from a powerful kindergarten experience.  The following 10 policies support, promote, and enhance the learning and joy of learning for all kindergarten children, leading to positive child outcomes for all.

All Children in the U.S. should be provided the opportunity to:

Participate in a high quality kindergarten program with a developmentally appropriate environment, including a comprehensive curriculum that addresses all domains important for young children. 

Be taught by a teacher who has received specialized training in working with and instructing young children, particularly kindergartners, and who has shown his/her competency in providing intentional and appropriate evidence-based instruction to this age child.

Be served by a program and within a system that connects with and deeply engages families in decisions about their child’s education and learning.

Receive supports as determined by their individual needs including planned transitions into kindergarten and from kindergarten to first grade.

Be allowed to attend kindergarten if they are five years old by September 1.

All Schools Should:

Assess child’s status AFTER kindergarten entry.

Require all children to attend kindergarten when age eligible.

Provide a full-day, every-day kindergarten program.

Offer a free kindergarten experience.

Not ‘red-shirt’ or recommend that parents hold out their age-eligible children, nor offer a sequenced two-year program with the intention that some children complete two years of kindergarten instruction.