School Age Calculator USA

Enter details to determine when your child can start school


Prior to first year of school, child is in

Preschool in 2013

As the first year of Elementary, child is in

Kindergarten in 2015

Child will start 1st Grade in


Child will start High School 9th Grade in


Kindergarten starting age in

Note: Results are based on information from State and Territory government departments, please consult your local school prior to enrolling.

Starting School in the United States

Key Points

  • In the US Elementary School starts in the year the child turns five
  • The first year of elementary is kindergarten, either a full day or part day program
  • It is not always mandatory to attend kindergarten however the majority of students do


A child’s early education in the United States starts with childcare or preschool which can start from 2-3 years old, followed by pre-kindergarten when the child is 4 years old.

Preschool in the United States is not part of the formal education system and is run by private operators and community groups. As such there is no established curriculum and it mainly focused on social integration and learning fundamentals.

California is currently the only state to have a formal pre-kindergarten program, where child who are born between September and December attend before entering school.

Elementary School

Elementary school in the US starts with kindergarten where in most cases the child will commence in the year they turn five.

Each states and territory sets their own age requirements and the majority of children will usually be eligible to attend kindergarten if they have turned five prior to the first day of school or another date set by the education department.

For example, in California, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Michigan require the child to be 5 years old before 1st September to attend school. While in North Carolina, Massachusetts and Washington, children need to be 5 by the 31st August.

Conversely in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana children must be 5 by the 1st August to attend school while in New Jersey and Colorado the cut off date is the 1st of October. Select the state above for further information.

Not all states and territories in the US have a standard entrance age cut-off date, with some states such as New York new Jersey leaving it up to individual schools and government regions to set their own requirements.

Middle School

Middle school years differ by state but are most commonly between 6th grade to 8th grade. Children enter middle school at the age of 11 to 12 years old and finish 3 years later in the year they turn 15. MIddle school is usually integrated into the same same campus as high school.

High School

High school in the US commences with 9th Grade or Freshman Year. Students are usually 14 or 15 years old when they enter High School.

High school finishes on completion of Senior Year (12th Grade) when the student is 17 or 18 years old.

School Calendar

School term starting date in the US differs by state but usually starts late August or early September following the summer break.

The school year is split into two semesters, each of which can sometimes be split into 2 quarters.