Kindergarten for 5-year-olds? DepEd says rule applies to public, private schools

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has issued an order clarifying that the the cut-off age policy of 5 years old for Kindergarten applies to both public and private schools.

Deparment Order (DO) 20 series of 2018, was issued to amend DepEd's 2016 order, also known as the Omnibus Policy on Kindergarten Education.

The amendment also provides transitory rules on accommodating Kindergarten and Grade 1 enrollees who may be affected by the policy during the school years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. 

"We are issuing this amended enrollment procedure to address the concern of parents while ensuring that our Kindergarten learners are holistically prepared to face the expectations of the grade level," Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a statement on Saturday, April 21.

Under the amendment, Kindergarten learners must be 5 years old by July 1, if their school year opens in July, with an extension period until September 30.

If their school year opens in August, they must be 5 years old by August 1, with an extension until October 31.

Private schools are still allowed to add admission requirements "that are consistent with existing laws and rules."

Transitory provisions

For school year 2018-2019, learners who completed Kindergarten in school year 2017-2018 will be allowed to enroll in Grade 1, given that they turned 5 years old within school year 2017-2018.

Meanwhile, learners who will turn 5 years old within school year 2018-2019 will be accepted in Kindergarten, granted that they pass the Philippine Early Childhood Development checklist.

Learners who completed Kindergarten in school year 2018-2019 are allowed to enroll in Grade 1 for school year 2019-2020, as long as they turned 5 years old within SY 2018-2019, while incoming Kindergarten for school year 2019-2020 must strictly comply with the amended cut-off age policy.

By school year 2020-2021, DepEd said it will impose strict compliance to DO 20's amended enrollment procedure on all incoming Kindergarten and Grade 1 learners. – Rappler.com