Birthday Cut-Off Date for Private Kindergarten

Parent Q&A

  • I know normally there's a TK program for kids born between Sept 1 - Dec 1. My kid is born Jan 2 so he is actually technically too young for even TK.  He would be about 4yrs & 9months old at the start of the school yr. 

    But are there any private kindergartens that would allow him admissions at his age? Or even a more challenging/academically advanced TK program that would take him at his age? He's pretty advanced socially and academically and the preschools and TK programs I've seen are not challenging enough for him and don't have a good enough ratios or programs where teachers could give him some personal support to help him stay engaged and challenged.

    We would be looking for Kindergarten admission in the 2020/21 school yr. Any suggestions of private schools that could be a fit? 

    Not recommending a private school, but seems like there's some information here about your question under the Transitional Kindergarten section: "...a school district or charter school may, at any time during a school year (including at the beginning of the school year) admit a child to a TK program who will have his or her fifth birthday after December 2 but during that same school year, with the approval of the parent or guardian, if the governing board of the school district or the governing body of the charter school determines that the admittance is in the best interests of the child and the parent or guardian is given information regarding the advantages and disadvantages and any other explanatory information about the effect of this early admittance."

    Your dilemma is not uncommon and is addressed by the many preschools that have curricula that extend to kindergarten level. I promise your kid will benefit from that year as long as the curriculum extends upward. Most certified Montessori preschools take an individualized developmental approach to learning and most extend to age 6- so yes K level.

    Good Luck!

    As the parent of an older child, I would not recommend starting your child in kindergarten so young, even if you find one and even if he can handle it now. Please think to the future, do you really want him to be 11 half-way through 7th grade, and 17 half-way through his freshman year of college? Those are profound times to be a year younger than classmates; I have heard that social anxiety is more common among kids who skip a grade. A TK would probably be a good idea if he is academically and socially ready, and to actually start kindergarten later in the year that he turns 5.

Archived Q&A and Reviews



School that allows exceptions to age cut-off?

July 2008

I'm looking for a school (public or private) that will allow an exception to the age cut off requirement for kindergarten (e.g. birthday falls 12 days after cut off). I'm interested in Oakland, but willing to go to Berkeley, San Leandro, Alameda etc. Any ideas? thanks

Beacon Day School does not have a cut-off age for Kindergarten. We assess each child to determine readiness.

We have three K/1 classes and one K only class. In addition, our Early Childhood program routinely enrolls children that have late fall birthdays and may not quite be ready for a K or K/1. The Early Childhood program provides a K prep track for all students age 4 and older throughout the year prior to entering K.

Beacon's philosophy of enabling every child to be a confident, successful learner who truly enjoys school is realized by placing them in a class which benefits their developmental age and plans for this over the course of a school year. abaroni at

Looking for a private school with a Dec 1 cut-off

Jan 2005

It appears that most private schools have a cut off date of September 1 or 3 (birthday) for accepting children to kindergarten. Would anyone know which private schools have a cut off date of December 1 (or even if they have an earlier date would be flexible to accept November 30 birthday child). Please let me know. The deadlines to apply are in the next two weeks so I need to know as soon as possible. Thank you very much for any information.

these are the schools I've checked with and their cut off dates for a child to turn 5 in order to be eligible for K: 
  • Head Royce - firm 9/1
  • Park Day - firm 9/1
  • Bentley - 9/1 but will consider a close birthday
  • Redwood Day - 12/1
  • Black Pine Circle - 11/1?? (not positive)

The same newsletter that had your question had some info about Linda Beech in Piedmont now offering a pre-K. I know that Step One in Berkeley does as well. you should also look at schools that offer a pre-K programs (the Berkeley Parents Network has a website). we're sending our daughter to a Montessori school, in part, because they have a pre-K program. also note that many Montessori schools group kids aged 3-5 in one group. Ioana

Beacon School assesses Kindergarten applicants for readiness. We do not have an age 5 cutoff. For the most part our Kindergarten students are not any younger than 4.9 or 4.10. We are looking for a range of students with a range of abilities. Each of our classes will have students with up to an 18 to 24 month age range. This makes for a truly diverse group of students and allows the curriculum to be taught in developmental pace groups. Please call Beacon Admissions at (510) 437-2311 to schedule a tour or to be mailed an application packet. Alexandra

The Oakland Hebrew Day School general admissions deadline for grades K-8, including financial aid, is January 31st. Applications for Fall, 2005 received after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis through the spring. Incoming Kindergarteners must turn five by December 2, 2005. For more information or a tour of the school, contact Melanie Marcus, Admissions Director, at (510) 531-8600 ext. 26 OHDS is a modern Orthodox school that includes many families with different observance practices - including families with only one Jewish parent. The school's focus is on the needs of the whole child, including critical thinking, character-building and cooperative problem-solving, along with excellence in general and Judaic subject matter. Children who enter OHDS at upper grades are provided with tutorial support as they become integrated into the bilingual curriculum, and the individual needs of all students are addressed through differential teaching in the classroom and our the full-time resource department. Your interest and questions are welcome!

East Bay School for Girls does not have a 5-year old birthday cut off for admission to kindergarten. We find that young girls are often ready to enter kindergarten with fall and early winter birthdays. Our classrooms are multi- grade level which allows all our girls to move through our academic curriculum at their own developmental pace while allowing them social-developmental experience with their peers. Our Kindergarten students enter EBSG between the ages of 4.7 and 5.11 years. East Bay School for Girls assesses each indivual applicant for kindergarten readiness. Please call East Bay School for Girls at (510) 849-9444 for further information, to schedule a tour, or to be mailed an application packet. Terry Amgott-Kwan, Admissions Coordinator

Private schools that admit kids with December birthday?

Aug 2004

I am looking for private kindergardens that will admit kids w/ late birthday (Dec 16) in the east bay. Right now, only Crestmont and StepOne are on my list to check out for next year. Lynn

Montessori Community School in El Cerrito (Cutting below Arlington), 510-234-1185, will take kindergarteners with a Dec birthday. LC

Our daughter has a December birthday and just completed the Bridge-K program at Hearts Leap School. It was a great experience - more academic growth than the regular preschool class, but a small, intimate setting with lots of playtime and play experiences. There are only 12 kids with 2 wonderful teachers. The kids all have their birthday from June - December. This year she'll start kindergarten at Redwood Day School. I feel she's much more prepared emotionally as well as academically for elementary school than if she had went into kindergarten as one of the youngest kids.

The Jewish Community Center in Walnut Creek has a WONDERFUL kindergarten program! Teacher Stephany is into nature, animals, science in addition to the basics. Many of the children in her class have late year bdays so aren't quite ready, or can't get into the public K. She has been there for years, and has a lot of latitude so can go beyond classroom basics. Generally there are no more than 15-18 students in the class. There were many non-Jewish classmates in my boys' class, as is often the case, so don't let religion deter you if you're not Jewish. There is an 'awareness' of Judaism taught, but it's not a religious program at all. It would be worth your while to explore this wonderful option for your child. I am pretty sure they accept Dec. bdays into the Kindergarten there. Good luck! Karen

Beacon School in Oakland assesses each Kindergarten applicant for readiness. As a general rule, the youngest child we take for Kindergarten 4 years and 11 months old. Beacon is a year-round school with a developmentally-responsive curriculum. Therefore we are looking for an age range in all grades of up to 2 years. Please call the Admissions Office at (510) 437-2311 for further information or to schedule a tour.

If you are saying that you would like to send a 4 and a half year old to a regular Kindergarten class, I recommend against it. There are many areas (emotional, mental, social, physical,etc) that a child needs to be ready and it isn't fair to the child nor the other children to put a kid in Kindergarten knowing full well he/she will repeat-- because he/she probably will/ought to should you send him/her that young. I highly recommend Tops in Orinda for their DK program. It is even better than any kindergarten I've had contact with. My 5 and a half year old just completed it last year and I am so glad. He definitely is ready for regular kindergarten now. Mom of 2 elementary school kids