Kindergarten Ready?

Want to know what skills your child should have before they start kindergarten? Check out these materials.

The ECCS also helps parents find preschool options, enrichment programs, and other resources to ensure their child is ready for kindergarten.

Presentations from Southington Public Schools

2024 Kindergarten Readiness Introduction
Presented by Joanne Kelleher, Executive Director of Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington

2024 SPS Kindergarten Readiness Numeracy
Provided by Alicia Naleway, District Curriculum Coordinator for Math and Science

2024 SPS Kindergarten Readiness – Literacy & Language
Provided by Stephanie Lawlor, District Curriculum Coordinator for English Language Arts and Social Studies

2024 SPS Kindergarten Readiness – Social Emotional Learning and RULER
Provided by Rebecca Cavallaro, Director of Pupil Personnel Services

2018 SPS Kindergarten Readiness – Development Skills
Presented by Assistant Superintendent Steve Madancy and Kindergarten Teacher Rosemary Risser

2018 SPS Fine Motor Readiness for Kindergarten
Presented by Sue Spatafore, an Occupational Therapist for the Southington Public Schools

Other Resources:

The Southington Public School District has implemented RULER, an approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) based out of Yale University, that teaches emotional intelligence to people of all ages, with the goal of creating a healthier, more equitable, innovative, and compassionate society. Learn more about Social Emotional Learning and RULER.

Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten – Connecticut State Department of Education

Suggested Reading for Children Entering Kindergarten – Southington Public Library

Hello Kindergarten – The CT Office of Early Childhood and Connecticut State Department of Education

Ready Set Write: letter formation pathway – This is the way the SPS teaches handwriting.

CT Early Learning and Development Standards to Kindergarten Standards Crosswalks – The CT Office of Early Childhood.
This document maps CT ELDS indicators for 3-4 years and 4-5 years, and end-of-kindergarten learning standards for the domains of Cognition, Social and Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Social  Studies.

Change to Kindergarten Start age: As of fall of 2024, the cut-off age to start kindergarten has changed and children must now turn five by September 1 unless they request and are granted a waiver to start earlier. The CT State Department of Education and the State Office of Early Childhood (OEC) have developed family-friendly guidance documents to help families understand this change and provide resources to find answers to questions and concerns.
ArabicEnglish – Haitian – CreolePortuguese – Spanish

Life Skills

While academic skills are important, we often forget the importance of non-academic life skills your child should have before entering kindergarten. Teaching these life skills and independence will not only benefit your child in the long run but will also give your child’s teacher more time to teach and work on their academic skills. Can your child put on their own shoes, coat and backpack? Can they open everything in their lunchbox? Do they know their first and last name and yours?

You can find a list of life skills for kindergarteners here.

Developmental Screenings

Parents who want a better understanding of their child’s development can use the free Sparkler mobile app to do their own evaluation. This tool could be helpful in determining kindergarten readiness.
Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQs) provide reliable, accurate developmental and social-emotional screening for children between 1 month and age 6. Drawing on parents’ expert knowledge, ASQ has been specifically designed to pinpoint developmental progress and catch delays in young children — paving the way for meaningful next steps in learning, intervention, or monitoring. ASQ can be key in early intervention by helping educators, doctors, and families understand children’s strengths, set goals, and access support.
Both ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2 can be found on the free Sparkler app which is available to use in English or Spanish, iOS or Android, smartphone or tablet.
The ASQ-3 measures 5 domains of development: Communication, Gross and Fine Motor, Problem-Solving, and Personal-Social over 21 Questionnaire intervals: 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60 months.
ASQ:SE-2 Measures 7 Core Social-Emotional Behavioral Areas: Self-regulation, Compliance, Adaptive Functioning, Autonomy, Affect, Social-Communication and Interaction over 9 Questionnaire intervals: 2, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 48, 60 months.
Details about how to use Sparkler and the access code needed when you set up a new account are on the Sparkler Mobile App page website.

Kindergarten Readiness Research

Recent research* says that for kindergarten readiness, three critical areas need to intersect:

1. Timing

  • When intervention starts

2. Quality

  • Intentional instructional component
  • Focus on social-emotional

3. Dosage

  • Day-to-day basis (e.g., half-day vs. full-day programs)
  • Cumulative, over time (e.g., attendance; year-to-year)

If we want children to be prepared for kindergarten and be “ready to learn” in the early grades (K-grade 3), we must:

1. Develop strong foundational cognitive skills (literacy/communication and math).

2.  Develop social and emotional competence.

3.  Establish patterns of engagement in school and learning

And we must do this in partnership with:

  • District Leaders
  • Principals
  • Teachers
  • Site Administrators
  • Families
  • Community Leaders
  • Childcare Providers

* Adapted from Kauerz, K. (April 8, 2014) Presentation to CT Governor’s PreK-Grade 3 Symposium, Hartford, CT

The ECCS is committed to building and supporting these partnerships and sharing as much information as possible with parents and caregivers about various preschool opportunities.