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Letter: The right age for starting kindergarten

10.02.2011 | The New York Times | Catherine Atkin

To the Editor:

As an early childhood education advocate, I strongly agree that disadvantaged children have the most to lose from delayed access to school. That’s why I support increasing access to high-quality early learning opportunities that prepare children for success, especially at a time when their brains are rapidly developing.

In California, we recognize that merely changing the kindergarten entry date will not help narrow the school readiness gap. That’s why we’re proud that next year will be the first year of statewide implementation of transitional kindergarten, the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience for students born between September and December.

Part of the public school system, it will give 140,000 young learners the gift of time, helping them develop the social, emotional and academic skills they need to succeed.

CATHERINE ATKIN
President, Preschool California
Alameda, Calif., Sept. 26, 2011

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