Is your child ready for kindergarten?

Group of kindergarten kids friends arm around sitting and smiling funGetting your child ready for kindergarten can be an exciting and stressful time for parents. There are many things to consider to help your child have a healthy start to school.

Common questions asked are:

  • What are the expectations for my child’s speech and language skills?
  • If I have concerns, what should I do or who can I talk to?

Our Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) shares some tips to help answer your questions about your child’s speech & language development.

By age four, a child should be able to:

  • Follow directions that involve three or more steps
  • Show advanced imaginary play skills
  • Tell short stories that have a beginning, middle and an end
  • Name numbers & letters and can match some letters with their sounds
  • Be understood by strangers most of the time and use adult like grammar

You can find more information and examples on our Communication Checklist. Note: if your child is not 4 by JK, expectations are slightly different.

If your responses to the checklist determines that your child may benefit from receiving the Early Abilities Speech & Language Program, please use this self-referral form or call us at 416-338-8255. It can be completed by Toronto residents with children from 6 months of age up to August 31 of the year they are eligible to enter Junior Kindergarten.

Early intervention is crucial.

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Children & Youth have tips on how to get involved and support your child’s learning outside of the classroom.

So, what if your child does not meet all the speech & language developmental milestones? Can they still attend the full day Kindergarten program?  Absolutely!

During school registration and throughout the school year, it’s important to talk to the school principal/teachers and express any concerns you might have. Tell the school staff if your child has received speech and language services. If you have any documentations (reports) from an SLP, provide a copy to the school so that they have a better understanding of your child’s skills and current level. There is an SLP assigned to every school who can follow up and provide support and suggestions to the classroom teacher.

Remember, you know your child best!

As of April 1, 2022 the Preschool Speech and Language, Blind-Low Vision and Infant Hearing programs have moved from Toronto Public Health (Early Abilities) to Surrey Place. To register for services or learn more about the programs, please visit Surrey Place or call 416-925-5141.

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