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Sandbox Talk: Imua weighs in on today’s HSA “Mandatory kindergarten expedited” article

“Mandatory kindergarten expedited”


In today’s Honolulu Star Advertiser, it reported that Legislators are seeking approval of a bill to inform families about the new Kindergarten age requirement. We sat down with Imua Family Services’ Infant and Child Development Program Director, Dr. Bobbie-Jo Moniz-Tadeo to chat the new kindergarten law and her thoughts on early childhood education/intervention. To read the full article go to Good Beginnings Alliance website.

1. Kindergarten mandatory for 5 year old…?

Yes! These are the very foundational skills needed for any child, typically developing or special needs. The first five years of a child’s life are monumental and the earlier we can access them the better.

2. How does legislation like this affect a child with special needs?

Children with special needs often have a very different developmental path than their typically developing peers. By working on developmental areas in which a child has strengths and challenges, it can help him or her gain some of the important skills needed to be successful in school.  In the case of a child with special needs, the child may develop at a different rate than the typical child and in that case, you may need to break a task down into smaller components or practice for a longer period of time. It is important to remember that each child with special needs will follow a unique developmental path.

3. How will this impact their families?

Kindergarten is the beginning of a child’s formal educational career. Kindergarten provides opportunities for children to grow and develop physically, emotionally, socially and academically.  Research shows that children who are exposed to early education or early learning typically do better in their later years. This impacts families because outside of school, children spend most of their time in their home environment, and significant correlations exist between child’s  development in school and at home.