What Parents of Kinder-Age Kids Need to Know About the New DepEd Policy

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Our Department of Education (DepEd) has previously released guidelines regarding the age requirements for both the Kinder and Grade 1 levels, and this states that only kids who have turned 5 years old by August 31 can be accepted to Kinder while kids who have turned 6 years old by the same cut off date will be accepted to Grade 1. We have published an article about this in our Kinder primer here.

Unfortunately, a number of parents were not happy with this rule — because they have encountered problems in enrolling their kids into Grade 1 and even Kinder in some schools (most especially the big ones). The good thing is, DepEd has been listening and has recently issued an amendment to its policy for the school year 2018 to 2019. What does this amendment mean to parents? Here are some things you need to know:

For School Year 2018-2019:

If your child is starting kinder/kindergarten:

  • Kids who will turn 5 years old within the school year can be accepted into Kinder as long as they pass the Philippine Early Childhood Development (ECD) Checklist.

If your child is an incoming Grade 1 student:

  • Kids who have completed Kindergarten in SY 2017-2018 and have turned 5 years old within the SY 2017-2018 will be allowed to enroll in Grade 1.
  • Kids who will complete Kindergarten in SY 2018-2019 will be accepted to Grade 1 in SY 2019-2020, if they turned 5 years old within SY 2018-2019.

The above provisions were done to allow for the transition period and is applicable to all Kinder and Grade 1 students in both public and private schools.

However, parents should note that the DepEd will strictly enforce it’s amended enrollment procedure stated in its DepEd Order No. 20, series 2018 (DO 20) by SY 2020-2021. This means that:

If your child is starting kinder/kindergarten:

  • If your preferred school starts classes in July, then kids should be 5 years old by July 1 (with an extension period until September 30) for them to be accepted.
  • If your preferred school starts classes in August, then kids should be 5 years old by August 1 (with an extension period until October 31) for them to be accepted.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones stated that “we are issuing this amended enrollment procedure to address the concern of parents while ensuring that our Kindergarten learners are holistically prepared to face the expectations of the grade level.”

Furthermore, the DepEd memo states that:

The Kindergarten curriculum is designed to respond to the holistic developmental needs of five-year-old learners, along with socio-emotional, values, physical health, creative, mathematics, understanding of the physical and natural environment, language, literacy, and communication development. Moreover, the first quarter of the curriculum is structured to strengthen the learner’s preparation to meet the Kindergarten learning standards.

Source: Department of Education

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