Most states, including California, Texas and Michigan, require kindergarten children to be 5 years old on or before September 1 of the academic year. Some states allow local school boards to set their own specific age requirements for kindergarten admissions.
Many states allow parents to opt out of sending children to kindergarten, and some states offer alternative programs for children, such as Head Start. Programs are also available for children who are ready for kindergarten at earlier ages. A parent who is unsure of a child's readiness for kindergarten can request testing for the child to examine emotional and social readiness and academic capacity.