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Applying for kindergarten: what to do if your child is too young

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

A transitional kindergarten class in Long Beach serves kids who are about to turn five-years-old at the beginning of the school year.

It's that time of the year when parents of four and five year old’s are busy with school tours and applications to secure a kindergarten spot. If you're about to embark on this journey with your four year old you may get some unexpected news: California has again moved up the age requirement for a child to start kindergarten.

To start Kindergarten in August 2014, children must have turned 5 by September 1, 2014--that's a month earlier than last year's requirement. The state has been moving up the cutoff for the past three years to get to the point where all kids are 5 by the time they enroll in kindergarten.

What to do if your child has to wait one more year? To fill the gap, California offers "Transitional Kindergarten," an educational program meant to be more age-appropriate for four year olds than the current kindergarten curriculum.

Children are eligible for transitional kindergarten if their 5th birthday falls between:
October 2 and December 2 for the 2013-14 school year
September 2 and December 2 for the 2014-15 school year
                                                                      
More info on Transitional Kindergarten can be found here.    

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