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Late Birthdays And Starting School

What If I Dont Want My Child To Miss Reception

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If you want your summer born child to start Reception a year late, rather than going straight into Year 1, youll need to apply for them to be admitted outside their normal age group.

You should discuss this with the headteachers of your preferred schools plan) as early as possible during the school place application period for your child’s date of birth .

Reducing Misery Of Children

New York City has historically had a December kindergarten cutoff, but principals used to have more discretion over whether students could delay kindergarten before the education department took over admissions six years ago, some parents said.

Other states had December cutoffs decades ago, as well, but over the past 45 years most states have moved back their cutoff dates, according to the Education Commission of the States, a nonprofit policy research group. The age pushed upward as kindergarten became increasingly academic, experts have said, as pressure from standardized testing led to less time for play and physical development.

New York Citys December kindergarten age cut-off is often seen as an equity issue: It provides school access earlier to more families who might not be able to afford early education. But now that the city has universal pre-K for 4-year-olds and an increasing number of districts also have free programs for 3-year-olds programs that children start at age 3 and 2, respectively more children have access to high-quality education at a younger age, regardless of their parents income. That has some educators and parents rethinking the age cutoff.

Early education experts note that in the younger grades, a child born even a few months later than peers might be in a very different place, developmentally speaking.

But Souto-Manning, of Teachers College, warned that moving back the cutoff would be more of a burden on lower-income families.

Whats The Application Process

First you need to find out when applications open in your area for children in your childs normal age group. Its usually at the start of the autumn term the year before your child is due to start school.

You can download a copy of the form from your councils website which should also include information about applying for a place outside the normal age group or delayed admission as it’s also known.

The deadline for applying for a primary school place is 15 January and you must apply for a place even if the school you want is linked to your childs current nursery.

To help the admission authority make a fully informed decision you could send in any reports on your child from professionals such as a Teacher of the Deaf, speech and language therapist or educational psychologist that support your case.

If you dont have this information you can just write a statement giving the reasons why you think your child should be admitted outside their normal age group.

Currently, local authorities and schools do not have to agree with your request. The School Admissions Code says:

For more information see the Governments Advice on the Admission of Summer Born Children, December 2014.

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Taking Your Reception Child On Holiday

Parents often like to make the most of their childs Reception year to take a term-time holiday before the academic pressure intensifies, but schools often discourage this. However, legally speaking, its not unlawful for you to take your child out of school for a holiday before they reach Compulsory School Age. The school is obliged to mark your child as present or absent, but dont have to record whether their absence is authorised. This means that schools are not allowed to refuse the leave, mark it as unauthorised or fine you for taking them out of school although they might still encourage you to follow the schools usual procedures and write a letter or fill in a form to explain your childs absence.

Deferred Entry To Primary School

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You have the right to start your child at school on a full time basis from the September following their fourth birthday, providing they have been allocated a school place. While schools are free to suggest a preferred induction process, parents retain the right to formally request that the school provide a full term schedule for their child from the beginning of the school year.

You also have the right to delay your child’s start date , until later in the school year, but not beyond the beginning of the term after they turn 5 and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year in April. Your child may also start part time later in the school year, but not beyond the beginning of the term after they turn 5.

If you plan to defer your child’s start date until later in the school year, you must still apply at the usual time for primary or infant school places. You should also speak to the schools you are applying for, to discuss how you would like your child to be admitted.

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How Do I Know If My Child Is Ready For Kindergarten

There isnt just one indicator that determines whether your child is ready for kindergarten. Experts agree that a childs development needs to be evaluated in several areas.

Some school districts use assessment tests to determine if kids are kindergarten-ready. Children are asked questions to test their cognitive abilities. They might also be asked to perform tasks such as drawing shapes and sorting objects. Experts advise parents not to make a decision based entirely on test results, but to consider observations by teachers, pediatricians, and parents.

The following is a guideline that includes a range of social, academic and developmental factors to consider when deciding if your child is ready to start kindergarten:

Why Some Children Start School On Different Dates And Sometimes Part

Some schools operate different start dates for children entering reception classes to help them settle into school smoothly. This is known as staggered entry.

Schools will produce a clear statement about their September entry arrangements, and organise visits and taster sessions for children and parents, so that they can start school life in a positive way and parents can make arrangements for their care over the staggered entry period.

Parents do, however, have the right to request a full-time place for their child from the September after their fourth birthday.

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Should You Delay Kindergarten For Children With Summer Birthdays

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Academic pursuits are complicated. When it comes to the start gate for educating children, kindergarten is step one in the compulsory program.

However, it is often worthwhile to examine when one starts the marathon to try to weigh the potential benefits of a delayed start to possibly realize a better overall outcome.

In instances where a child has a summer birthday and would, ultimately, present as the youngest and likely smallest in his or her class, parents often pause to consider the options.

It is not really about whether the summer child is able to access kindergarten but whether it is in his or her best interest to begin the academic journey with peers who present with nearly a 20% age benefit by being older strictly based on their birthdate.

While states vary in the date in which a child must be 5-years-old, most settle in on somewhere in the early fall. This means that a child who presents with a Sept. 1 birthday may turn 6 within two weeks of the start of school while an Aug. 30 child would have literally just turned 5 within two weeks.

As adults, one years growth is not monumental or even worthy of dialog. However, when analyzing a childs growth and development, one full year makes a big difference socio-emotionally, academically and physically.

Mitigating The Birthday Effect

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In a world where self-confidence and risk-taking is rewarded, these traits can give them an edge. Those who were relatively young may be at a disadvantage.

Understanding the somewhat unexpected effect of birth dates on personality traits is important. It can inform policies to mitigate the relative age effects.

For instance, it can help educators in their assessment and fostering of each child’s potential. In particular, it can help inform the design of curriculum and assessment programs to avoid the unintended penalty imposed on relatively young students who were born before the cut-off date rather than after it.

It also means grouping children based on ability across age range may be a better solution than strict age-based classes.

Lionel Page is a professor in economics, Dipanwita Sarkar is a senior lecturer and Juliana Silva Goncalves is a postdoctoral research fellow in the QUT Business School of Economics and Finance. This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

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Late Summer Birthdays: Hold Back Or Send To Kindergarten

Even though my daughter is only 3.5 years old, Ive been having a debate in my mind lately about kindergarten. Her birthday is late in July, so Ive come to the tough decision that most parents of late summer birthday kids face. Send them to school when youre supposed to so they are younger for their grade? Or hold them back a year from school and they are the oldest for their grade?

Ive been wrestling with a decision for quite some time now, listing out pros and cons. Sending your kids to school earlier when they will be younger for the age means they are out of the house earlier and accustomed to school sooner. Sending them later so they are older means they have more time to be a kid and dont have the pressures of going to school placed on them so fast.

The pros and cons lists are endless, Ive been making them for about a year now! And beyond that, its so situational depending on each child individually, and their external circumstances. It is nearly impossible to know what the best situation is without doing an entire scientific experiment and analyzing both situations. But that is impossible to do!

Here is where I am finding comfort- Kids thrive in whatever situation they are placed in.

Sure, each child will have their struggles in school. Some may fall behind because they are younger for their grade and cannot keep up academically. Others may stick out and get made fun of because they are taller or bigger for their grade.

School Starting Ages Across The Country:

  • Kindergarten, prep, foundation or reception is the first year of formal school
  • Cut-off dates mean a child must turn five by that date to start school
  • Queensland, WA and NT have June 30 cut-off
  • In NSW, the cut-off is July 31
  • Victoria, the ACT and SA have April/May cut-off
  • Tasmania is trialling a January 1 cut-off

For instance, in the UK the cut-off date is September 1. In federal nations such as Australia or the US, cut-off dates vary between states. Children who turn five by the cut-off date will start school, while children whose birthday is after the cut-off date will still be four and start school the following year.

The relative position of your birthday to the school cut-off date has one important consequence: it determines whether throughout primary and secondary school you are among the older, more mature, taller students in the class or not.

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When Is The Earliest My Child Could Start School

From the September following a childs fourth birthday, theyre entitled to a place in a Reception class, even though they havent yet reached compulsory school age .

However, if your school or council agree, you dont have to send your child to school at this point if you dont think theyre ready, or you might choose to send your child to school on a part-time basis.

Pros Of Holding Your Child Back

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The pros are pretty clear. Your child has more time to develop and will be among the older kids in his or her class. Your child will have more time to develop academically, emotionally, and physically. There are some real advantages to that.

Being older means your child might have more confidence and self-esteem, which can lead to success for them. They also have an early advantage in athletics, as older children tend to be more developed in terms of physical ability. And they are just bigger, which can be a big pro in some sports.

Overall the children who start kindergarten later tend to have more maturity and are just better able to face the challenges ahead of them.

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School Start And Birthdays

Q:Our son’s fifth birthday is in August. He did just fine, socially and academically, in preschool, but the counselor at the school he’s slated to attend has recommended that we hold him back a year because of his late birthday. She says that kids with late birthdays, especially boys, do better if they’re given an extra year of maturation before starting school. What do you think?

A:The practice of postponing Kindergarten for so-called “late birthday” children-generally defined as children having birthdays after May-got its start about twenty years ago and has generated the usual unintended consequences. Prime among those is the fact that by delaying the start of school for children having birthdays after May, schools only create a new crop of children with late birthdays-those occurring after January.

It’s true that during early elementary school, boys are less mature in several respects than girls. In general, their attention spans tend to be shorter. Therefore, they’re more impulsive and more easily distracted. It’s also true, however, that some children, boys as well as girls, experience developmental “spurts” during Kindergarten. The slightly immature, impulsive 5-year-old may be at the norm one year later.

The System Isnt Supportive

Denise Clay, a Brooklyn-based psychotherapist with two boys, a 6-year-old born at the end of September and a 4-year-old born in December, said she was grateful for the citys Pre-K for All and 3-K program and understood how important it was for New York City families to have these free options. But she decided to opt out of the school system entirely, in favor of homeschooling, because of her sons late fall birthdays.

She acknowledged that shes privileged to have the flexibility and means to homeschool, but said the arrangement remains a tremendous financial and time sacrifice.

In her private practice, Clay works with parents to raise emotionally intelligent children and has seen many families of kids who are labeled with various disorders and struggle.

Im not sure the link is always made that their children are being put in situations theyre not ready for, Clay said. A lot of the work I do with parents is to become advocates for their kids, so their kids dont end up being labeled and pathologized. Theyre very quick to think their kids are broken, but the system isnt supportive.

Concerns about the citys age cutoff often linger beyond kindergarten.

Kelly Pontano, whose Nov. 30-born son is now in fifth grade, said his late birthday continues to pose challenges. Just as he started kindergarten at 4, he would be starting middle school at 10 possibly traveling long distances from his Park Slope home and high school at 13.

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How A Diagnosis Is Made

Jessica Francis is a therapist and licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Georgia. She specializes in ADHD and told Healthline, What we call ADHD is a set of characteristics caused by generally genetic factors that lead to differences in the structure and functioning of the brain.

She explained that those differences have actually been identified on brain scans, but that brain scanning is not exact enough to use for diagnosis.

She also pointed out that while researchers are still working to find out what genes are involved in ADHD, between 25 and 44 genes have already been identified as possibly creating the symptoms of ADHD.

When it comes to diagnosis, she explained, A person simply has to show a certain number of symptoms much of the time and in multiple environments, and those symptoms have to get in the way of their life.

The symptoms she was discussing are divided into two sets: inattentiveness and hyperactive/impulsivity.

A person can show symptoms on one set, the other, or both, and this determines whether they are diagnosed with Inattentive Type , Hyperactive/Impulsive Type , or Combined Type.

Summer Born Option : Postpone Your Child’s Start To Later In The Year

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Summer born children are allowed to accept an offer of a school place but then postpone their start in Reception until later in the year. This is called ‘deferring‘ your child’s admission to primary school. The latest you are able to postpone their start is April.

If you would like to do this:

  • Apply for a school place during the winter before your child’s 4th birthday. The deadline for applications is 15 January before their 4th birthday.
  • Accept a school place offered to you.
  • Speak to the school about your wish to defer your child’s start to later in the year. Make sure to discuss both the possible benefits and disadvantages of your child starting later in the year.
  • The school will hold your place during the Autumn and Spring terms of your child’s Reception year, depending on how long you decide to defer.
  • Your child MUST start school at least by the beginning of the Summer Term in April. They can then attend school either full-time or part-time for the rest of the year.
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