Early Education >> Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness by School District, King County (2013-14 to 2015-16 school years)  

Over half of King County students entering state-funded, full-day kindergarten do not have the expected skills for school readiness.

The Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) measures kindergarten readiness in 6 skill areas important to academic success: social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, and math. District-level data are only available for children in full-day, state-funded kindergarten programs in the school districts colored green on the map.


In the 2015-2016 school year 13 out of 19 school districts in King County offered full-day, state-funded kindergarten; 47% of King County kindergarteners in those districts performed at the level expected of a 5-year-old in all 6 skill areas.  Kindergarten readiness varied by school district, race/ethnicity, gender, special education status, and family economic circumstances. In the 2015-2016 school year:

  • School district: Even in contiguous school districts, the proportion of King County kindergarteners demonstrating skills expected of 5-year-olds in all 6 skill areas varied considerably, from 21% in Auburn to 58% in neighboring Enumclaw.
  • Race/ethnicity: Children who were white, 2 or more races, or Asian were most likely to display readiness in all 6 areas. In individual districts, however, different patterns emerged. For example, Black and white children had identical rates of kindergarten readiness in the Tukwila (52%) and Auburn (23%) districts, but differed by 30% in Seattle (40% of Black children and 70% of white children). 
  • Gender: With the exception of Enumclaw and Snoqualmie Valley districts, girls were more likely than boys to demonstrate readiness across all areas.
  • Special education: Only 1 in 5 kindergarteners enrolling in special education were deemed ready in all 6 areas, compared to almost half of all incoming kindergarteners.
  • Low-income: 36% of kindergarteners who qualified for the free-and-reduced-price meals program (family income up to 185% of the federal poverty guidelines) were kindergarten-ready in all areas, but this varied widely by district, from 15% in Auburn to 44% in Highline. 

Starting in 2009, priority for state funding for full-day kindergarten was given to school districts with the highest proportions of children qualifying for free-or-reduced-price school meals. The 2017-2018 school year is the first year that every school district in Washington will be required to provide full-day kindergarten. 

SOURCE: Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (2013-2016)

WaKIDS: http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/WaKidsDetailPage.aspx