School Age Calculator USA

Enter state and date of birth below to determine year of entry into kindergarten and high school 

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School Characteristic Requirement

United States Education System

An Overview

The education system in the United States formally starts with elementary school where the first year is known as kindergarten, followed by 1st grade through to 6th grade. This is followed by High School which runs from 7th grade to 12th grade.

High school can be split into a middle school (also known as junior school) and then senior school. Most children commence kindergarten at the age of five or six, subject to local State requirements. Each state and territory administers the education program hence there are differences in rules and age requirements for when children can attend school.

The school year starts in September and runs to end of June the following year, generally with 3 semesters or terms per year.

Preschools will offer a broad program of activites and learning tasks where the focus is on building social skills and independence to be ready for school.

Pre School

Pre-school in the US, also known as pre-kindergarten or pre-k usually runs for 1-2 years when the child is 3 and 4 years old. In nearly all states pre-kindergarten is not part of the government education system and is attendance is not mandatory. Pre-schools are administered by private companies, community groups or childcare providers.

Elementary School

While the requirements are different in each state most children commence elementary or primary school (sometimes called grade or grammar school) at the age of five or six. The first grade of elementary is known as kindergarten, and while it is common for most children to attend at this level, it is not compulsory in many states. Kindergarten can be either a full day or part day program depending on the state or territory in question. 

Elementary is almost always co-educational with mixed boys and girls in the same class in the public schooling system.

In at least 40 states and districts, schools are required to offer a kindergarten program, however less than half of these are required to be a full day, with the majority only required to offer a part time kindergarten program. Of these, just 18 states actually make kindergarten attendance mandtory.

A small number of states including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont do not have a mandated kindergarten entry age, and leave it up to the local area school authorities to determine children will start. Further detail is provided at the end of the page below.

The calculator above can also be used to calculate school year based on date of birth.


Kindergarten Age Requirements by State

California

Children in California can commence kindergarten if the child has turned 5 years old by the 1st of September in that year. Kindergarten is not mandatory in California however nearly all students will attend. California also has a transitional kindergarten program integrated into the Elementary program which is designed to assist children in the transition to their first year of school.

Transitional kindergarten is a free public school program for 4-year-olds who turn 5 between 2nd of September and 2nd of December. It is an extra school grade that is designed to assist younger children and be a bridge between preschool and kindergarten. Children who attend transitional kindergarten can enrol in a regular kindergarten class the following year.

Texas

Kindergarten in Texas commences if the child has turned 5 years old by the 1st of September. Kindergarten is not mandatory by law, however children must be enrolled in a school by the time they are 6 years old. Use the School Age Calculator Texas to determine starting year in kindergarten in Texas.

Florida

Kindergarten in Florida commences if the child has turned 5 years old by the 1st of September. Schools are required by law to offer at least a half day kindergarten program, however it is not mandatory for children to attend. Children who are 6 or who will turn 6 by 1st Feb must be enrolled in school in that year. Use the school age calculator Florida to determine starting the year for kindergarten based on child’s age.

New York

New York does not have a standard state-wide cut-off age to attend school and entry requirements are set by lcoal school boards. The most common age requirement set by schools is that children are 5 years old before the 1st of December to attend kindergarten in that September that year, however the 1st of August is also commonplace.

Kindergarten attendance is not mandatory in New York however children must be enrolled in school by the age of 6 years old. Use the school age calculator New York above to determine year of entry into school.

Pennsylvania

The minimum age at which a child can attend kindergarten in Pennsylvania is if the child has turned 4 years and 7 month old by the first day of school, commonly on the 1st of September each year. Pennsylvania has recently changed its mandatory school age from 8 years old to 6, whereby any child who turn 6 years old before 1st of September must be enrolled in school that year.

Illinois

Kindergarten in Illinois commences if the child has turned 5 years old by the 1st of September. Kindergarten is not mandatory however children must be enrolled in school in a given year if they will turn 6 years old before the 1st of September. Use the calculator to determine school year based on date of birth for Illinois.

Ohio

Ohio does not have a standard state wide cut off age for entry into kindergarten and entry requirements are set by district school boards. Most commonly schools adopt one of two dates, if child is 5 years old by 1st of August or 30th September they will attend in that year. Contact your local school to confirm the cut off age. It is mandatory for children to attend kindergarten in Ohio. Use the school age calculator Ohio to determine the year of entry.

Georgia

Kindergarten in Georgia commences if the child has turned 5 years old by the 1st of August. Attendance at kindergarten is not mandatory by law however children must be enrolled in school in the year they turn 6 years old.

North Carolina

Kindergarten in North Carolina commences if the child has turned 5 years old by the 31st of August. Attendance at kindergarten is not mandatory by law however children must be enrolled in school in the year they turn 7 years old.

Michigan

Kindergarten in Michigan commences if the child has turned 5 years old by the 1st of September. Attendance at kindergarten is not mandatory by law however children must be enrolled in school if they turn 6 years old by the 1st of December in a given year.

The table below outlines the kindergarten age requirements for all states and territories in the United States.

School Age Requirements by State

State / District Kindergarten Age Kindergarten
Mandatory
Compulsory
School Age
Alabama5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIn year child turns 6
Alaska5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIn year child turns 7
Arizona5 yrs old before 1 SepNoIn year child turns 6
Arkansas5 yrs old by 1 AugYesIn year child turns 5
California5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIn year child turns 6
Colorado5 yrs old by 1 OctNoIf 6 by 1st Aug
Connecticut5 yrs old by 1 JanYesIn year child turns 5
Delaware5 yrs old by 31 AugYesIf 5 by 31 Aug
District of Columbia5 yrs old by 30 SepYesIf 5 by 30 Sep
Florida5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIf 6 by 1st Feb
Georgia5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIn year child turns 6
Hawaii5 yrs old by 31 JulYesIf 5 by 31 Jul
Idaho5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIf 7 by first day of term
Illinois5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIf 6 by 1 Sep
Indiana5 yrs old by 1 AugNoIn year child turns 7
Iowa5 yrs old by 15 SepNoIf 6 by 15 Sep
Kansas5 yrs old by 31 AugNoIn year child turns 7
Kentucky5 yrs old by 1 AugNoIf 6 by 1 Aug
Louisiana5 yrs old by 30 SepYesIn year child turns 7
Maine5 yrs old by 15 OctNoIn year child turns 7
Maryland5 yrs old by 1 SepYesIn year child turns 5
Massachusetts5 yrs old by 31 AugNoIn year child turns 6
Michigan5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIf 6 by 1 Dec
Minnesota5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIn year child turns 7
Mississippi5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIf 6 by 1 Sep
Missouri5 yrs old before 1 AugNoIn year child turns 7
Montana5 yrs old by 10 SepNoIf 7 by first day of term
Nebraska5 yrs old by 31 JulNoIf 6 by 1 Jan
Nevada5 yrs old by 30 SepYesIn year child turns 7
New Hampshire5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIn year child turns 6
New Jersey5 yrs old by 1 OctNoIn year child turns 6
New Mexico5 yrs old before 1 SepYesIf 5 before 1 Sep
New York5 yrs old by 1 DecNoIn year child turns 6
North Carolina5 yrs old by 31 AugNoIn year child turns 7
North Dakota5 yrs old before 1 AugNoIn year child turns 7
Ohio5 yrs old by 1 AugYesIn year child turns 6
Oklahoma5 yrs old by 1 SepYesIn year child turns 5
Oregon5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIn year child turns 6
Pennsylvania4 yrs 7 mths by start of schoolNoIn year child turns 8
Rhode Island5 yrs old by 1 SepYesIf 6 by 1 Sep
South Carolina5 yrs old by 1 SepYesIf 5 by 1 Sep
South Dakota5 yrs old by 1 SepYesIn year child turns 6
Tennessee5 yrs old by 15 AugYesIn year child turns 6
Texas5 yrs old by 1 SepNoIn year child turns 6
Utah5 yrs old before 2 SepNoIn year child turns 6
Vermont5 yrs old by 31 AugNoIn year child turns 6
Virginia5 yrs old by 30 SepYesIf 5 by 30 Sep
Washington5 yrs old by 31 AugNoIn year child turns 8
West Virginia5 yrs old before 1 SepYesIf 6 before 1 Sep
Wisconsin5 yrs old by 1 SepYesIn year child turns 6
Wyoming5 yrs old by 15 SepNoIf 7 before 15 Sep

States with Non-Standard Age Cut-Off 

The following states do not have a state-wide cut-off age for entry into kindergarten. The age requirement is set by the Local Education Agency (LEA) or school board. The most common age for kindergarten entry in these states:

For the purposes of determining a school entry date, the ealiest of the above dates have been used. Please treat this as a guide only and confirm with your local school or education agency for exact entry requirements.