How to Know When Your Child Is Ready for School

People put a lot of stock in age. When a child is age 3, they should be ready for preschool, right? And, if a child can start kindergarten at age 4 or 5, why wait?

The truth is, school readiness goes far beyond age. At Scottsdale Children’s Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, our team uses science-based assessments to evaluate both subjective and objective milestones to measure a child’s school-readiness. Using these tools, you can get a more accurate sense of when your child is ready to head off to school.


Starting with the basics

Starting with the basics
Most schools have standard requirements for children starting kindergarten. These admissions guidelines provide a helpful starting point when considering whether your child should start school.

Standard admissions criteria often include being able to:

  • Use the bathroom on their own
  • Hold a pencil or utensil
  • Follow directions
  • Cooperate with others
  • Speak in understandable sentences with at least five or six words
  • Transition from one activity to the next
  • Identify numbers and shapes

If this list raises questions or concerns, we recommend getting a professional assessment to gauge your child’s school-readiness.


Formal school-readiness evaluations

Our team specializes in applied behavior analysis — or ABA — therapy. This science-based approach involves applying the principles of behavior analysis to real-world situations, such as learning. With this approach, we can help set your child up for success by identifying their specific skills and individual needs.

To start, we gather data based on direct observation and personalized assessment. This process covers multiple subject areas using a model similar to CABAS® (Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis for Schooling).

Assessment areas include:

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Language
  • Social skills
  • Compliance
  • Self-management

After gathering this information, we compare our findings to the early learning and admission standards outlined by the state of Arizona and the Scottsdale area.

Our overall goal at Scottsdale Children’s Institute is to help as many people as possible, which means helping parents teach and raise happy, healthy kids. As part of our commitment, we provide our kindergarten-readiness assessments free of charge.


When your child isn’t school-ready

Our commitment doesn’t stop if your child’s assessment indicates they aren’t ready to start school. Instead, our doctoral and masters-level ABA experts create a customized school-readiness program based on their needs. These programs benefit children of all developmental levels, from 0-11 years of age.

We have a low staff-to-student ratio, ensuring your child learns in a positive and supportive environment. Areas where a school-readiness program can help include:

  • Building social, emotional, and communication skills
  • Improving academic, focus, and memory skills
  • Reducing challenging behaviors
  • Plus, we provide parents and caregivers with the tools they need to reinforce these strategies in nonclassroom, “real-world” environments. And, throughout the entire process, we continue evaluating your child’s progress, so we can make modifications as needed.

Together, we can give your child the tools they need to succeed when they’re ready to start school. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Scottsdale Children’s Institute today.