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Early Childhood Programs and Kindergarten

Early Childhood Programs and Kindergarten

Meet Ready Freddy! He wants every child to be ready for kindergarten!

Requirements for Kindergarten Enrollment
Florida State Statute requires children to be 5-years-old on or before September 1 of that school year to be eligible for enrollment in kindergarten. There are no exceptions to this rule and no tests that can be taken to bypass the rule.

For children who move to Florida from out-of-state, we are able to accept a child who does not meet the age requirement ONLY IF the child was enrolled in another state for a minimum of 4 weeks and met the age requirements in place for the state from which they are moving.

Registering for Kindergarten in Hillsborough County
We strongly urge families to register for kindergarten between February 1 and August 1. Do not wait until the first day of school to register or you will find yourself in a long line and the process will take much longer than need be.

To see what paperwork you should bring to the school, read more >>>

Once you have your paperwork collected, please call your child’s school and ask to speak to the Data Processor (DP). Let the DP know what paperwork you plan to bring and arrange for a good time to bring it into the office. He/she may be able to save you a trip by confirming you are bringing the correct paperwork!


Ready Freddy Loves to Read!

Reading to and with your child is probably the single best thing you can to do help your child prepare for kindergarten. Hillsborough County Public Schools has partnered with several local agencies to provide FREE access to myON, an online library, for all of our families in Hillsborough County.

It’s easy to read books for free on myON ! Register for a free account:

Sample titles to look for to help prepare for school:

booksbooks books


Read an interactive online book about Freddy’s first day in kindergarten. Your child will learn computer mouse skills by clicking on the interactive objects with the story.

*Be patient. The page takes a minute to load and when you see the Note to Parents, click the X to escape and move forward to the book, songs and games. Choose your activity from this screen:

Select your activity from this screen

Explore the story with your child:

  • Have your child discuss what is seen on each page.
  • Identify the objects in the illustrations.
  • Listen for rhymes. Replay the pages with rhymes and ask your child to find the rhyming words.

Activities from

Skill-Building Activities
There are many activities parents, educators, and child care providers can do with 3- to 5-year-old children to support early literacy development. Regardless of screening tool results, these activities will help to foster continued growth in the area of early learning and literacy.

Activity Cards
Sets of 36 Get Ready to Read! activity cards support the building of literacy skills everyday.

We also have a set of supplemental materials to ensure parents have all the tools they need to use the primary activity cards at home.

Animated Online Games
Come along with Inky the Octopus and Gus the Bunny from PBS' Between the Lions on their underwater adventures. These games involve young children in entertaining stories and engaging activities while building a variety of essential early literacy skills.

  • Chapter 1: Gus and Inky's Underwater Adventure
  • Chapter 2: Rhyme Time
  • Chapter 3: Wild Word Round Up

The Get Ready to Read! Screening Tool
This tool was designed to be used by parents and early education providers with children in the year before they enter kindergarten. It measures these key early literacy skills: print knowledge, linguistic awareness, and emergent writing.

What to Do If You Are Concerned About Your Child's Literacy Development

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