DANBURY, Conn. -- It may still be winter, but it's already time for kindergartners who will start in the fall to sign up as registration opens Monday, March 2, at the Family Learning Center in Danbury.
“Parents are encouraged to sign up early to get the most information in a timely matter before school starts,” says Loren Daly, coordinator of the Family Learning Center.
Although kindergarten is not mandatory in the state of Connecticut, parents are encouraged to enroll their kids to help build the foundation that every child needs for the rest of their education, Daly said. All children born in 2010 are eligible to enter kindergarten this fall.
To register a child for kindergarten, a parent must go to the Educational Services Center and Family Learning Center located at 49 Osborne St. in Danbury. The following documents required for registration include:
- Two proofs of Danbury residency: one must be a current property tax bill, mortgage deed, or a notarized current rental lease. A current gas/electric/cable bill can be used as the second proof.
- The child’s birth certificate.
- Proof of completed immunizations.
- More information, including office hours, can be found online .
“All children who register by June 20 will receive a free book," said parent coach Angelina Stojakovic of the Danbury Family Learning Center. "We encourage the parents to register in the proper time to ensure they get the proper information on bus routes, lunches, and before/after school care.”
As kids head to kindergarten, more than 30 percent of the children in Danbury have no preschool experience -- many because their families can’t afford it, according to the Danbury School District.
For children without a preschool experience, a new program called The Strong Start Neighborhood Project at Park Avenue School offers children from birth to age 5 and their parents or caregivers opportunities to play, learn, connect, and partner with the neighborhood school through free educational playgroups.
The free Play to Learn Playgroups take place on Mondays and Thursdays at Park Avenue School from 9:15 to 10:45 a.m. and Wednesdays at the Danbury Library from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Pre-registration is not required.
Parents of preschools looking for support can also contact Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership.
Caroline LaFleur, director of the partnership, said the organization, “brings together everyone in the community who touches the lives of young children to support early learning – including parents, childcare providers, educators, health providers, and social service agencies.”
The mission for the organization is to make sure that all Danbury children are health and ready for school.
Its programs, which are all free, include both the participation of the parents and their children with activities such as Mind in the Making Workshops that “focus on a parents role in building their child’s life skills, since life skills have shown to be as, or more important, to school success as academic skills,” says LaFleur.
To help prepare children for kindergarten, the organization has “a school team that works with the Danbury School Readiness Council. The primary focus once children enter school is creating family friendly school environments and promoting parent engagement in education,” says LaFleur.
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