Kindergarten Registration Day is April 10th

Web_KindergartenBanner_250x250As spring begins to unfold in our region, the next school year may seem like it’s a long time away. But it’s not too soon to start thinking about your child’s first day of kindergarten this fall. In fact, the most important date for parents of rising kindergarteners – children who are 5 years old by September 30th — is right around the corner.

Thursday, April 10th is the day for on-time registration for children starting kindergarten in the fall in 15 local school divisions: the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond, as well as the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George and Sussex. Nearly 12,000 children will enter kindergarten in the fall in the greater Richmond and Petersburg region.

There is quite a bit of paperwork needed to register a child for kindergarten, and pulling everything together takes time. Even if you don’t have all of the paperwork, come to registration with what you do have. You’ll be guided to resources that can help you complete the process.

There are advantages for parents, children and schools when kindergarteners are registered on time on April 10th:

-Schools can give parents important information that they might otherwise miss;

-Teachers can prepare for the child in the classroom;

-Schools can adequately prepare for space, staff and materials; and,

-Parents can receive help in collecting any missing paperwork that is needed before the first day of school.

More than an estimated 4,000 children are not registered on time each year — enough to fill about eight elementary schools. So, for the fourth year in a row, Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond is coordinating the kindergarten registration public awareness campaign on behalf of the 15 participating school districts.

“The results that we saw last year showed that by acting together throughout the region to publicize the on-time kindergarten registration date, we can create greater awareness,” said Jacque Hale, Director of Smart Beginnings at United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg. “Our goal is to help more parents prepare their children for school and register their children for kindergarten on time. If parents wait until the summer, then it’s a scramble – both to gather the paperwork and to make sure the child has the necessary skills to be successful in school.”

In addition, parents and caregivers need to know that school readiness is more than just registering children for school – it’s about children being prepared academically, emotionally, physically and socially to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

There are many easy things parents, grandparents and caregivers can do to prepare your child to begin school ready to succeed:

-Practice writing their name

-Read and look at books every day

-Practice counting real objects

-Find and name letters of the alphabet everywhere you go

-Show respect and use good manners

-Follow directions and listen to others

“Don’t forget you can do all of these things by visiting a museum, library, and amusement park too,” said Hale. “Yes, learning is fun and it happens every day, everywhere!”

In the Richmond region, 1 in 7 children enters kindergarten already behind in language and literacy skills. This preparation needs to begin long before a child reaches a classroom. In fact, children begin acquiring cognitive, motor and social skills rapidly from the moment of birth.

“Parents, including expectant parents, need to know they are the first and most important teachers for their children,” said Hale. “Research tells us that much of the brain’s structure and function are developed by the time a child reaches the age of 3.”

For more information about kindergarten registration and what to bring on April 10th, parents can dial the phone number “2-1-1” or visit and find information specific to their school division. 2-1-1 connects to United Way’s Information and Referral Center with free information on available health and human services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond, facilitated by United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg and the Greater Richmond Chamber, is a coalition of public and private organizations, businesses, and citizens working together to ensure that the region’s children enter school healthy, well-cared for, and ready to succeed in school and in life. It operates on the premise that when children have quality early childhood experiences, the whole community benefits. Visit