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School Readiness is a public school program available to Minnesota children, age 3 years to kindergarten enrollment who meet certain eligibility requirements. The purpose of a School Readiness program is to prepare children to enter kindergarten. The goal of School Readiness is to help preschoolers enter school with the skills and behaviors necessary to be successful in future learning.

It is a priority of School Readiness to involve parents in their child’s learning and education. Research has shown that early childhood programs that involve parents and children working together are more effective than programs that only focus on the child. Involving families early encourages parents to play a more active role throughout their child’s education.

In order to attend School Readiness programs, the following is true:

(Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.15, subd. 15)

A child is eligible to participate in a School Readiness program if the child:

  1. is at least three years old on September 1;
  2. has completed health and developmental screening within 90 days of program enrollment under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19; and
  3. has one or more of the following risk factors:
    • qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch;
    • is an English learner;
    • is homeless;
    • has an individualized education program (IEP) or an individual interagency intervention plan (IIIP);
    • is identified, through health and developmental screenings under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19, with a potential risk factor that may influence learning; or
    • is defined as at-risk by the school district.

Children who do not meet any of these requirements may attend School Readiness classes on a fee basis.

Districts offer School Readiness classes in a variety of formats.

Child Only Preschool Classes:

Districts may offer child only preschool classes for children ages 3 to kindergarten entry. There is no requirement for how often these classes need to meet. Some districts offer half-day classes only from 1 to 5 days/week. Full day preschool classes are also offered, 1 to 5 days/week.

Some form of parent involvement is required for these preschool programs, beyond attendance at parent/teacher conferences. Districts offer a variety of options for parent involvement.

Parent/Child and Child Only Classes:

Some districts provide School Readiness classes that build in the parent involvement component by having parents attend class with their children one day each week. Their children will then attend a second or third day of preschool on their own.

Current State Statute: