How Kindergarten Cut-offs Can Inform the Suburban Search
Your child's birthday could impact when they start kindergarten—and THAT could impact your suburbs search
When considering the suburbs, most city families focus in on one thing FIRST: finding A+ schools for their kids. While every parent’s definition of “great schools” is different, at the end of the day, the K-12 experience is often what draws parents to one suburb over another—or drives them away from a town that, otherwise, checks all the boxes.
But there’s another school-centric consideration many families may have forgotten about: cut off dates. School- or district-wide cut off dates dictate when kids start kindergarten and, ultimately, their entire academic path. While there may be some wiggle room district to district, it’s important to understand the deadlines and requirements early on in your suburban search. If you think your child could benefit from another preK year, a district with an earlier cut off—September 1, for example—may be a good fit. Likewise, if you’ve got a preschooler who seems ready to hop on the big yellow school bus, a school with a December 31 cut off—or some flexibility when it comes to kindergarten enrollment—could be the way to go.
The truth? There’s no right or wrong here—pushing a younger child into “big kid school” early on has its benefits, as does “redshirting” kids with late birthdays. Today, about 20% of six-year-olds are in kindergarten versus less than 12% two decades ago. The advantage? “New research into the age of children as they start found that students who are older than most of their classmates had an academic edge over their younger peers,” explains Today, quoting the National Bureau of Economic Research. “Data showed that the September-born children were 2.1% more likely to attend college compared to their August-born classmates. They also were 3.3% more likely to graduate from college, and 15.4% less likely to be get into trouble with the law while underage.”
The flip side? Potential loss of income down the road. Delaying school for a year means graduating high school and college a year later—and that means one less year in the workforce. And, because “today's children have far more chances to advance academically thanks to auxiliary programs offered in reading, math or other subjects,” explains USC professor Gary Painter—programs that weren’t offered in previous generations.”
Ultimately, again, it comes down to your child and his or her unique needs. But if it is a factor is either direction, your choice could inform the suburbs you search. While before that meant countless calls to schools, school districts and other local resources, cut-offs have become more and more central to the Suburban Jungle process—and are key pieces of intel our Strategists can integrate in your suburban search.
Suburban Jungle is an award-winning firm that specializes in moving families from urban to suburban. The company’s innovative “town first” approach helps buyers find the right suburb for their family based on personality and lifestyle, not just the house. Services are FREE and fully customized to each family and their unique journey. To learn more and to connect with a Suburbs Strategist, and find the place your family truly fits in visit www.suburbanjunglerealty.com and click GET STARTED.
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