Washington has age requirement laws for entry into public school kindergarten and first grade:
- Kindergarten age requirement: A child must be 5 years of age as of midnight August 31 of the year of entry to be entitled to enter
kindergarten. WAC 392-335-010.
- First Grade age requirement: A child must be 6 years of age as of midnight August 31 of the year of entry to be entitled to enter first grade. WAC 392-335-015.
The law also outlines some exceptions and considerations:
- Early entry policy. School districts and private schools are permitted to have Early Entry policies in order to enroll students with birthdays after the age cutoff dates. Fees for preadmission screening may apply. Contact your school district for more information. WAC 392-335-025
- Private school. Some private kindergarten programs allow children to enter with birthdays after August 31. If your child is not 5 years old by August 31 and you enroll your child in a private
kindergarten, you need to be sure the kindergarten is an approved private school. If the school is not approved, the
kindergarten experience may be considered preschool when transferring to a public school.
Kindergarten experience may be considered preschool when transferring to a public school. WAC 392-335-020
- Military family. A student who meets the definition of a child of a military family in transition is permitted to continue enrollment at the grade level commensurate with the grade level of the student when attending school in the sending state, regardless of age or birthdate requirements. RCW 28A.225.160
- Transferring from another state. If you move to Washington from a state or country with different age requirements, contact your local school or district office about appropriate grade placement.
To enroll your child, check with your school district to see what documentation is required. Generally, it’s a good idea to have the documents listed below. If for some reason you do not have these documents, you can still enroll your child in school. Your school or district office will be able to help you.
- A copy of the child's Birth Certificate
- Immunization Record and medical needs
- Your address
- Emergency contact information
- Any previous school records