Preparing for Kindergarten

Families are their child's first and most important teacher. Your involvement in their learning is critical to both in preparing them as they enter school and over the course of their educational career.

All the experience, care and learning opportunities your child receives from birth to five years of age contribute to their School Readiness. The resources below will help you find information and tools to support you in your role as your child's first teacher.

preschool students and teacher

Washington State Kindergarten Readiness Benchmarks

The State of Washington has developed a parent guide to the Washington State Kindergarten Readiness Benchmarks which shares examples of typical development and learning of young children from birth to kindergarten.

Kindergarten Readiness Guidelines

Parents and families have a very important role as their child's first teacher. Children learn in different ways and at different rates. They come to school with varying skills.

These guidelines highlight some of the skills children need to be prepared for kindergarten in six developmental areas. Working together at home on the skills below will help your child to be ready for school.

  • Social and emotional maturity
  • Physical abilities
  • Language skills
  • Cognitive/thinking abilities
  • Literacy skills
  • Math skills
  • Knowledge of personal information

Open the PDF documents below to read the kindergarten readiness checklists. These checklists are available in the following languages: 

Parents and caregivers can assess whether their children are demonstrating these skills already or are working on developing them. The six areas and the individual skills are drawn from the WA Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS).

Seattle Public Schools collaborated with other districts to produce checklists of age-appropriate skills so families have a sense of schools' expectations for incoming kindergarten students.

WaKIDS is used in many classrooms around the state to provide a snapshot of where kindergartners are in their development early in the school year. For more information, see the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Development Skills website.

The City of Seattle's Early Education Collaborative

The City of Seattle's Early Education Collaborative has created culturally and linguistically relevant kindergarten readiness guidelines.

Public Libraries

Reading, talking and singing with your child is a easy way to build their vocabulary and help them get ready for school. Visiting public libraries, even before children can read exposes, them to the love of books and libraries provide free children's story times and checking out books and music is free. Visit your local public library for more information.

Parent Resources to Support Early Learning and Kindergarten Readiness

The Foundation for Early Learning offers resources to help families promote reading, enhance early language development, and prepare their child for kindergarten.

Resources for Caregivers

Every time is a learning time for children. If a family friend or neighbor cares for your child, you can ensure your child is learning important skills by having them participate in free community events and play groups.

Childcare resources provides information for caregivers and connects caregivers with Learn and Play Groups throughout Seattle.

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