Understanding Kindergarten Registration

About the Project

Kindergarten registration opens in the School District of Philadelphia in January each year. However, in the 2018-19 school year,  only about 50% of the students who ultimately attended kindergarten registered during the January-June “on time” registration window.

In fall 2018, the Office of Research and Evaluation and the Office of Early Childhood Education administered parent surveys, conducted interviews and focus groups with parents and staff, and surveyed school secretaries to answer one primary question: What factors do parents and school staff identify as the major barriers to on-time registration?

Key Findings

  1. Parents and school secretaries reported that the paperwork required to register a student for kindergarten was burdensome and contributed to delays in on-time registration.
  2. Parents and school secretaries reported that the window for on-time kindergarten registration was unclear
  3. Parents that were considering alternative schooling options for their student may not register on time at their neighborhood public school.
  4. Some parents reported that they had recently relocated and therefore could not have registered their student any earlier than they did.
  5. School Secretaries listed several registration scenarios that they were unsure how to handle

For More Information

Research Brief: Barriers to On-Time Kindergarten Registration (December 2018)

Research Brief: Secretary Survey on Kindergarten Registration (June 2018)