Kindergarten Readiness

Here at Best Beginnings, our whole mission – our whole organization – is devoted to ensuring children are ready for school. But there is so much research, data, and advice specifically on the subject of kindergarten readiness that we are providing this page to help gather the information – much of it already on this website – for your use. Some is specifically pertinent to parents and families, some relates more to policy and data. We hope you find it helpful.

Items are organized by the following topics:

Alaska Kindergartners: Assessment methods and data

National standards of kindergarten readiness

What you can do to help your child

  • Is Your Family Kindergarten Ready? In a sense, a kindergarten-ready child is a reflection of a kindergarten-ready family. The Urban Child Institute provides both supporting research and practical steps for families.
  • I am ready! a lively brochure from the Alaska Dept. of Education & Early Development, outlines what’s expected by kindergarten and how you can help prepare your child.
  • When kindergarten looms (Abbe Hensley’s blog) May 16, 2012
  • Ready for school, revisited (Abbe Hensley’s blog) Nov. 12, 2011
  • Is your child ready? (Abbe Hensley’s blog) May 15, 2009
  • Kindergarten: Ready or Not?, appearing in Alaska Baby & Child Magazine, highlights recommendations from Alaska early child professionals.
  • Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come by Nancy Carlson is the last book children enrolled in Imagination Library receive, upon turning 5. To make the most of the book with extra activities for your child, check out the Activity Sheet.

Advice from kindergarten teachers

Online resources

  • Count Down to Kindergarten from is a collection of resources for kindergarten readiness, covering everything from when to start kindergarten and how to prepare children to choosing a program and teacher.
  • Getting School Ready A free guide for parents, families and caregivers. Read more or download the booklets, available in Cambodian, Chinese, English, Korean, Ormoro (audio only), Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
  • The Children’s Reading Foundation In addition to information for families, a simple checklist of Targets for Kindergarten is available.
  • Urban Child Institute Another checklist of what children should know before entering kindergarten.
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