Early school enrolment for children may not work in their favour

December 13, 2018


Some parents may feel the pressure to start their children’s schooling at a younger age to help them succeed academically, but a Stanford study suggests that starting formal education at an older age may be more beneficial for children.

The study, co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Thomas Dee, found that “children who started kindergarten a year later showed significantly lower levels of inattention and hyperactivity, which are jointly considered a key indicator of self regulation. The beneficial result was found to persist even at age 11.

“We found that delaying kindergarten for one year reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73 percent for an average child at age 11,” said Dee in the report, “and it virtually eliminated the probability that an average child at that age would have an ‘abnormal,’ or higher-than-normal rating for the inattentive-hyperactive behavioural measure.”