Message from the Director
October 17, 2013
For the past seven weeks, we have been working intently to create a plan to increase awareness about the change in kindergarten entry age and help affected families understand other options that may be available to them. Starting next year, children must be five years old on or before July 31 to attend kindergarten.
The development of our plan drew from our Action Strategy work (our effort to create a comprehensive early childhood system for children from birth to age eight) – we called together our team that last year worked on identifying the characteristics of quality early learning programs. Those who have lent their valuable input and assistance span the public and private sectors*. The impressive list of participants includes representation from center-based preschool, family-child interaction learning, home visiting, and family child care programs.
When we first met on August 23, we started to craft our message (“Kindergarten Age Has Changed!”), identify our audiences (families, preschool providers, and DOE staff), and determine what additional supports are needed to help our community manage this policy change. To be intentional in our development of supports, we have since been meeting with teachers and directors, including at the HAEYC conference this past weekend, which was attended by more than 1400.
For more information about this change, click on the new “Kindergarten Age Change” tab we have created on our website. Please take a look at our resources and let us know if there are other supports you need … our work continues.
GG Weisenfeld, Ed.D.
*Participants include: the Hawaii State Department of Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Health, Head Start, Maui County, Hawaii P-3 Initiative, Hawaii State Senate, Hawaii Association for the Education of Young Children, early intervention, HE’E Coalition, Good Beginnings Alliance, PATCH, Seagull Schools, Read To Me International, Partners in Development Foundation