RVA Parenting: What you need to know to have your child ready for kindergarten registration

RVA Parenting: What you need to know to have your child ready for kindergarten registration

(WWBT) - You have one week to get ready for Kindergarten registration. The date to remember is April 14. That's the day Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, Richmond, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and Sussex will hold kindergarten registration.

If you're trying to do the math, experts say about 14,000 incoming kindergarteners begin school each fall.

"There is a lot to get done there," explained Jacque Hale with Smart Beginnings. "This registering in April gives the schools time to plan. It gives the teachers a chance to make sure they have the right equipment in their classroom."

She says it also gives schools the opportunity to budget and have the right amount of staff, as well.

Here is a list of the forms you should bring with you:

  1. Your child's official certified birth certificate
  2. Two proofs of address
  3. A school entrance health form
  4. A photo ID for parents or legal guardians

If you're missing a form, you should still register. Those can be filed later, if necessary. Also, call the doctor and get your child's appointment scheduled.

We asked our experts how long registration takes. Here's what she had to say: "It can range in time, so if you get there early, you might not have to spend as much time there. But, I would make plans for maybe an hour or so if it's going to be crowded during the day."

Some school divisions do want you to bring the child with you for assessments. Hale says in Chesterfield, you need to bring your child with you.

You'll want to register your child at the school they're going to attend. If you don't know which one that is, the easy thing is to go to this website or dial 211. They'll have information that can direct you to your school division's transportation department to find out which school you will be in. You can also check out the school's websites. They usually have a link where you can type in your address and it will tell you which elementary school you will attend.

At home, you can prepare your child as well.

"Kids start learning as soon as they are born," said Hale. "There are things that we can be doing to help them get ready for school  long before they're even going to be entering a classroom."

Hale recommends sticking to routines, planning a regular bedtime and wakeup time, and get used to planning ahead. She also encourages parents to read books every day and point out letters around town.

"The stop sign, McDonalds, anything," explained Hale. "Just pointing out letters and letting them say them. Draw or use scissors or use paper with markers, just getting them used to holding pencils and the tools they're going to use at their new job as a kindergartener in the fall."

Also, consider visiting libraries, museums, or parks.

Everyone needs to register, whether your child is in public preschool or not. Your child should register if he or she is 5 by September 30.

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