Early Learning


Enrolling in Kindergarten

A teacher and students sign in class

Enroll today for the 2021-22 school year online on  Enrollment Services webpage.

If your child turns 5 by August 31, it’s time to register for kindergarten.

Early registration for kindergarten starts a connection to your school community. You will meet other families and learn about:

  • School activities and events
  • Before and after-school programs
  • Drop off and pickup schedules
  • Free and reduced price meals
  • Tutoring and enrichment activities

Schools can prepare better for new students when they know in advance who has registered.

Kindergarten Jump Start

Every August, most Seattle elementary and K-8 schools offer a free week-long program to help new kindergartners get ready and excited about starting school. Read more about Jump Start

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.

Playing, reading, counting and talking together (in your home language) and helping your child learn some basic self-care skills will help him or her to be ready for school. Learn more about preparing for Kindergarten. See a list of skills (translated into 12 languages) that most 5 year olds are developing that you can help your future kindergartner practice.

Helping Your Child Prepare 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.

The State of Washington Early Learning and Development Guidelines ( EnglishSpanish) offers examples of skills seen in all areas of learning for typically developing children ages birth through eight.

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. You’ll notice that a child who is ready for kindergarten has skills in many distinct areas, such as:

  • Self-care and getting along with others
  • Physical abilities like moving and handling a pencil or crayon, a fork or chopsticks
  • Listening and speaking
  • Thinking and problem solving
  • Recognizing letters and their sounds, and playing with words
  • Counting and sorting; recognizing shapes and sizes
  • Personal safety and awareness of one’s name, home address, etc.

To help parents and guardians to understand the abilities typical of most 5- and 6-year old children, Seattle and several nearby school districts prepared and translated a checklist of “Kindergarten Readiness Guidelines” into twelve languages (see drop down menu in column to the left.)The six areas and the individual skills are drawn from the  Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS), which teachers used to assess children at the beginning of the school year.


Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) is a process of connecting families, elementary schools and early education programs so that new kindergartners can be ready to start school.

All Washington public elementary schools participate in WaKIDS, which includes 3 elements:

Family Connection Visits

Before starting school, each new kindergartner’s family is offered the chance to meet with their student’s teacher to begin building a home-school partnership.

Public Libraries

Reading, talking and singing with your child is an easy way to build their vocabulary and help them get ready for school. Visiting public libraries, even before children can read, helps them to love and appreciate language books, and other media. Libraries provide free virtual story times and activities in different languages. Checking out books and music is free. You can get a library card for your child from birth onward. Visit your local public library for more information.

Early Entrance to Kindergarten (EEK)

According to Washington State school attendance rules, a child must be five years old by August 31 to attend kindergarten.  For a fee (waived for families with financial need), Seattle Public Schools offers the opportunity for parents of students who show advanced levels of social and cognitive readiness to apply for an exception to this rule.  Students whose fifth birthday occurs between September 1 and October 31 may apply to be evaluated for a one-month trial in kindergarten.  After this trial period, the school principal makes the final decision about the appropriateness of continuing or delaying kindergarten. Read more about Early Entrance Kindergarten. For more information, contact the Seattle Public Schools Advanced Learning Department at advlearn@seattleschools.org or call (206) 252-0130.