Virginia sees uptick in families delaying kindergarten

March 8, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia has seen an uptick in the number of families who have delayed sending a child to kindergarten for one year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the increase.

Delaying kindergarten enrollment is an annual occurrence in the state. And it’s normally sought out by families who are white, affluent and have sons.

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“It is this idea of giving kids the gift of time, the idea of giving them another year to develop, grow and play and potentially be in a less structured environment will allow them to get more out of it down the road,” said Daphna Bassok, an associate professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia.

Bassok’s research has found that statewide kindergarten enrollment is down 13%. Teachers could face larger gaps in the skills of young learners this fall.

“I think teachers are going to see groups of children who had such different early childhood experiences this year and such different exposure to early literacy and early numeracy,” she said.