By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
If your child will be 5 years old any time in 2013, the deadline to submit an application for kindergarten is Friday, March 1.
You may apply to as many schools as you would like, but you must submit an application – available online at http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/Elementary/HowtoApply.htm -- to each school.
While the 5-year-old birthday cutoff is December 31, 2013 for public school kids (meaning that up to a quarter of entering kindergarten classes are actually under 5 years old), some private schools require children to be 5 by the time they start school in September.
According to researchers, an increasing number of parents hold their kids back until they are older, giving them more time to mature and develop physically.
Some even hold off kindergarten until their kids are 6 – a practice called “redshirting.” Many parents feel that starting school at a slightly later age gives their kids an edge that will last their entire lives.
While this may be true in early years, especially for boys and young athletes, the advantage may fade as children get older. According to Princeton researcher Sam Wang and author Sandra Aamodt writing in the New York Times, by high school redshirted children are less motivated and perform less well. “By adulthood, they are no better off in wages or educational attainment — in fact, their lifetime earnings are reduced by one year,” Wang and Aamodt say.