Required School Enrollment Age

Updated May 2020

Click here to read our article: “Filing the Private School Affidavit”

When a parent inquires at what age their child is required to begin school, there may be some conflicting answers given. One reason for this could be confusion regarding the birthday cutoff dates for compulsory enrollment.

While you will notice that there is a space on the affidavit for the number of students enrolled in kindergarten, it is important to recognize that kindergarten is not mandatory in California. If you have a child who is younger than compulsory school age (is not age 6 by September 1, 2020 and whom you may consider being at a kindergarten or first grade level), you are not required to enroll him or her in your school or count him or her on your school’s affidavit.

Schools in which kindergarteners are enrolled are routinely contacted by the Health Department to verify immunizations and school entry health exams. Therefore, we recommend that homeschoolers avoid the extra paperwork by not enrolling their children formally into their schools until they reach the age of compulsory attendance.

California’s compulsory attendance laws currently only require that children be enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year if they turn six on or before September 1, 2020. This means that a child who turns six on or after September 2, 2020, does not need to be formally enrolled in school until the next year, when the 2021-2022 school year begins (usually in August or September). You may, of course, teach your children who are under compulsory attendance age at home. They simply are not formally a part of your private school and are not to be included in the number of enrolled students indicated on the affidavit form.