Decide between transition kindergarten or another kindergarten year

For children whose birthdays miss the Kindergarten deadline, parents need to determine whether transitional kindergarten or another preschool year is best for their children. While both provide education for children and help them prepare for kindergarten, there are some very real differences between the two. And because of these differences, parents need to do their due diligence in determining whether their children will thrive best in a second or third year of Kindergarten or Transitional Kindergarten.


Parents have a whole decision to make when it comes to choosing the best place to educate their children who are missing their district’s birthday deadline to enter kindergarten. This is because there is no one right answer for kids at all levels as to whether they would excel at spending more time in a preschool format or whether they are willing to move on to a. kindergarten format. The correct answer comes after parents have been able to research their local programs, see what the pros and cons of each are, and what makes the most sense for their children. Then and only then will they be able to determine the best educational route for their children for the year leading up to kindergarten.


RELATED: Helping Your 5-Year-Old Who Has Never Been To School Make It Into Kindergarten

Here’s how parents can choose between transition kindergarten or another year of preschool.

What is transitional kindergarten?


what is transitional kindergarten
via Wikimedia Commons / woodleywonderworks

Transitional kindergarten is a “springboard” between kindergarten and kindergarten, according to EdSource. It allows children who are “five-year-olds” to be placed in a school setting similar to that of kindergarten, but allows this younger age group to continue to develop social and emotional skills as they are. may still need help honing.

Currently, only California, Massachusetts and West Virginia offer transitional kindergarten classes through the public school system, according to EdWeek. Being funded by the states, these transitional kindergartens follow the curriculum established by local school districts.


Other states have transitional kindergarten programs, but they are offered through schools or private centers. For this reason, they may not follow the same curriculum that local school districts have developed for children. This means that some children will be very prepared for kindergarten while others may miss a few educational areas that may or may not be important when children enter kindergarten.

Differences between kindergarten and transitional preschool

While Preschool Kindergarten and Transition Kindergarten will prepare children to enter Kindergarten from a kindergarten readiness perspective, the way each school program does this is different from each other.


Study programme : The main difference between the Transitional Kindergarten and Preschool curriculum is that Transitional Kindergarten follows a schedule much closer to Kindergarten than Preschool. As such, the day is much more structured than in preschool.

According to Tootris, preschool is very focused on learning through play. Children are encouraged to use their imaginations, follow instructions, work on sharing, play cooperatively with others, and more during their time in preschool class. .

Children who enroll in Transitional Kindergarten, on the other hand, use some principles of preschool, such as playing while learning, but this is done in shorter bursts than they are in preschool. According to the publication, what transitional kindergarten uses the most are “centers” where different types of learning activities take place to introduce children to the topics they will cover in more depth the following year at school. kindergarten.


Teacher IDs: When it comes to educational qualifications for preschool teachers, each school has different requirements for its teachers. According to Teacher certification diplomas, some preschools require their teachers to have nothing more than high school diplomas, while others require a college degree and certification to teach preschoolers.

Those who teach in transitional kindergarten, according to TK California, must have the same educational qualifications as those who teach in kindergarten. As such, they are just as qualified to teach kindergarten as those who teach this age group and in some cases older children as well. And in many cases, board-certified teachers score better from their students than those without a degree.


Teacher / student ratio: The teacher-student ratio in kindergartens is much lower than in public schools. As a result, children in preschool programs receive more individual attention and are better able to work on specific areas that need to be strengthened before entering kindergarten.

Children in transitional kindergarten will be in class sizes very similar to those in kindergarten. This is because children strive to be more independent and follow the rules. As such, the same level of supervision is not necessary.

To put the pupil / teacher ratio into perspective, according to American research institutes, on average, transition kindergarten has one teacher for every 17 students. According to Noah’s Ark Children’s Center, the average preschool ratio is one teacher per 10 students.


While these numbers may fluctuate slightly, there will always be a smaller number of students per teacher in preschool than in transitional kindergarten. And if children thrive in such an environment, it should be factored into the decision of where to send children who are not yet ready for kindergarten.

Preschool Kindergarten and Transition Kindergarten will have children prepared for Kindergarten


transition kindergarten and kindergarten will prepare children for kindergarten
via Winnie

When it comes to deciding what the pre-kindergarten school year will look like, there really isn’t a bad decision between a quality preschool program and a kindergarten bridging program. The main factors to be taken into account are the social and emotional situation of the children and their ability to work or not at the kindergarten level.


Transitional Kindergarten and an extra year of Preschool are designed to ensure children have a foundation built to help them be successful in Kindergarten. For this reason, parents need to assess where their children are at and make a best decision about where they will thrive and this will determine whether children will enter transition kindergarten or another preschool year.

Source: EdWeek, EdSource, Tootris, Teacher Certification Degrees, TKCalifornia, American Institutes for Research, Noah’s Ark Child Center


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