1. What is the mandatory
kindergarten law and when did it go into effect?
The mandatory kindergarten attendance law, which went into
effect July 1, 1992, establishes two requirements: a. The
minimum age of compulsory school attendance is lowered to
five years of age; and -- b. Children are required to
attend kindergarten before entering first grade.
2. Who is affected by the law?
All children who reside in Maryland and who will be five
years old by September are affected by the mandatory
kindergarten attendance law.
3. Does attendance in a private
kindergarten satisfy the requirements of this law?
Yes. Attendance of age eligible children in any of the following nonpublic
kindergarten educational programs satisfies the
requirements of the mandatory kindergarten attendance law:
a. A kindergarten educational program in a nonpublic
school which holds a Certificate of Approval from the
Maryland State Board of Education; b. A kindergarten
educational program in a licensed child care center which
holds a Certificate of Approval from the Maryland State
Board of Education; or c. A kindergarten educational
program in a church-exempt nonpublic school which is
registered with the Maryland State Department of Education
as exempt from the requirement to hold a Certificate of
Approval because the Legal Authority responsible for
governing and operating the school is a bonafide church
4. Are there ways to satisfy the
mandatory kindergarten attendance law other than by
attending a public or private kindergarten?
Yes. The mandatory kindergarten attendance regulations
permit age eligible kindergarten children who are not attending a
public or a nonpublic kindergarten to be enrolled in
either an alternative program setting or supervised home
a. Alternative Program Setting:
1. Full time in a licensed child care center;
2. Full time in a registered family day care home; or
b. Supervised Home Instruction
Parents/guardians who home school their children must
register with their local school system in order to be
in compliance with home schooling regulations. Parents
of students who attend Alternative Settings must
register their child with Anne Arundel County Public
Schools prior to the opening of school. Send the letter
to the Early Childhood Office, 2644 Riva Road,
Annapolis, Maryland 21401.
Can kindergarten attendance be deferred on the basis of
Yes. State Board of Education regulations allow
parents/guardians to submit a one- year level of maturity
waiver for a kindergarten-age child if the parents believe
that a delay in kindergarten attendance is in the best
interest of their child. Such a child, however, must
attend kindergarten the next year. For more information
see question 7 or call 410-222-5441.
6. Will enrollment of a five year
old in a nonpublic nursery school at the preschool
(nursery school) level for four year olds satisfy the
requirements of the mandatory kindergarten attendance
No. Enrollment of a five year old in a nonpublic nursery
school educational program approved for four year olds
and/or below does not satisfy the requirements of the
mandatory kindergarten attendance law. Such a child must
attend kindergarten the following year in order to be in
compliance with the mandatory kindergarten requirements.
7. What must a parent/guardian do
to defer kindergarten attendance for one year?
If a parent wishes that kindergarten attendance be
deferred for one year due to the child's level of
maturity, the parent must do the following: a. File a
written request with the local Superintendent of Schools
before the opening of the school year in which the child
becomes five years old, asking that the child's attendance
be delayed due to the child's level of maturity. Be sure
to include child's name, address and date of birth. b.
Register that child in kindergarten the following school
8. When a parent or guardian
believes that it is in the best interests of a child who
is enrolled in kindergarten to be withdrawn, what must the
If a parent or guardian feels that it is in the best
interests of the child to be withdrawn from kindergarten,
the parent or guardian may file a written request to
withdraw the child from the program and delay kindergarten
attendance until the following school year.
9. May a child who will be five
years old by the age of entry of a school year be enrolled
in first grade?
Anne Arundel County Public Schools have a process
permitting a five-year-old child to be admitted to the
first grade, upon request of a parent or guardian.
Students must be admitted to kindergarten for up to 30
days while testing and observations are completed. The
school team and the parent will then determine the
appropriate grade placement.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools regulation IFA-RA
details this process.
May a child who is not five years
old by the age of entry of a school year be enrolled in
Arundel County Public Schools has
developed guidelines to allow Early Admission to
Kindergarten. The Maryland State Department of Education
guidelines are designed to identify exceptional
students. Children born after September 1 and before
October 15 and,
therefore, not age eligible for the current year’s
kindergarten may be considered for early admission.
more information call 410-222-5441 or ask your