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School Readiness

The Nebraska Department of Education recognizes that it is important for children in kindergarten programs to have expectations appropriate for their physical, emotional, and intellectual capabilities. The goal of kindergarten is to make the best match between teaching and learning for every child to support a successful school experience.

The relationships and communication between the kindergarten teacher and the families plays an essential role in ensuring children’s success. In spite of wide use of the term in connection with school entrance, there is no widely accepted understanding of readiness. In other words, perspectives about readiness have their sources in the belief systems that parents and educators have about child development and the purpose of schooling. A more productive way to think about readiness is to shift thinking from “Are they ready for kindergarten?” to “What must we do to make sure all children can be successful?” This approach places responsibilities on adults—parents, educators, and community leaders—to shape the early home and community environment to support children’s development and learning.

Specific academic skills often thought to be prerequisites for school success can easily be learned by children whose needs in the following five areas have been met:

  • Health and physical well being
  • Social and emotional well being
  • Approaches to learning
  • Language development
  • General knowledge about the world around them

Content for this page comes from Ready for Success – What Families Want to Know about Starting School in Nebraska.

School Readiness Publications

Getting Ready for Kindergarten: What Early Care & Education Providers Need to Know to Support Nebraska’s Children & Their Families 

Ready for Success

Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines: Nebraska’s Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards

Early Learning Foundations

Early Learning Foundations Order form

Kindergarten-Primary Programs

children with backpacksKindergarten is a very important year in the lives of Nebraska’s youngest students and their families. It begins to create the foundation of knowledge on which they will continue to build formal schooling.

A number of documents have been created to inform and support parents, administrators, teachers, and other early childhood professionals on what kindergarten best practices look like. The documents are based on current research and were created by kindergarten teachers and other early childhood professionals in Nebraska.

For more information about kindergarten and primary grades in Nebraska, please contact Melody Hobson at 402-471-0263.

Kindergarten Entrance

For additional information about professional development related to kindergarten in Nebraska or to borrow media materials on this topic, contact the media center at 402-557-6885 or visit the media center’s online catalog.

For questions about kindergarten entry, please refer to Neb.Rev.Stat 79-214. School districts should contact their district legal counsel for additional assistance.
Kindergarten and Early Childhood Program Eligibility for School Years 2013-2016
School Readiness

Kindergarten Position Statement

Position Statement Executive Summary

Other Documents

Updated December 6, 2018 3:50pm