Is your child ready for kindergarten?

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- How can you tell if your child is ready for kindergarten? How can you help them get ready? These days, many parents are confused about when to enroll their child in kindergarten. Some are signing up their kids as early as 4 years old and others are waiting until their little ones are 6.

Dana Vela, president of Sunrise Preschools and an expert in early childhood education says there are tell tale signs that will help you identify if your child is ready. Here are tips and milestones for parents to review to help determine a child's readiness, as well as prepare them for the jump to Kindergarten.

* Become familiar with the school cut off dates. Most school districts require a child to be 5 years of age by Sept. 1.

* Kindergarten readiness includes interacting well socially with other children their age, such as playing nicely, sharing, etc.

* Academically, a child should be able to listen to instructions and know the basics, such as the alphabet, counting numbers and have basic fine motor skills (hold a pencil, use scissors, etc.).

* If you're not sure if your child is ready, ask your child's preschool teacher to assess his or her readiness. Family and friends who know your child well and even your family pediatrician may also be able to provide insight into whether or not your child is ready for kindergarten.

* Visit a kindergarten class at the school where you plan to enroll your child to get a sense of the day-to-day activities. Can you envision your child interacting and joining in with the tasks?