Preschool pupils must not be over 5—DepEd


How old should a child in preschool be?

With kindergarten now mandatory under the K to 12 program, the Department of Education (DepEd) has required preschools and day care centers to comply with the standard requisite age for preschoolers.

The preschool age should normally be up to 5 years old only, since by 6 years old a child is expected to be in Grade 1, according to the DepEd.

Under Republic Act No. 10157 or the universal public kindergarten program passed last year, the DepEd made one year of kindergarten compulsory and a prerequisite to entering Grade 1.

Kindergarten is free to 5-year-olds in the public elementary schools under the K to 12 basic education reform program, which consists of kindergarten, six years of elementary, two years of junior high and two years of senior high school.

“Private (pre)schools should follow (the standard),” Education Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Yolanda Quijano said.

“Whether they have nursery, kinder 1 or kinder 2 levels, they should now follow [the standard] that kinder is for 5-year-olds and Grade 1 is for 6-year-olds,” she said.

Quijano clarified that while the DepEd required only one year of kindergarten, parents who can afford private day care centers or preschools can have their children start school as young as 3 or 4 years old to prepare them for regular schooling.

Before the mandatory kindergarten, some private preschools had pupils as old as 6 and 7 years old.

Quijano said that having “over-age” or older than 5 years old pupils in kindergarten would apply only to exceptional cases such as a child who has learning issues.

“In other countries, there are Grade 1 students who are 6 or 7 years old. But for us now, Grade 1 is for 6-year-olds,” she said.

For kindergarten, the DepEd said the pupil’s mother tongue or the language used at home shall be the primary medium of instruction under the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) method adopted under the K to 12


Around 1.7 million 5-year-old children are currently enrolled in kindergarten in both public and private schools, according to Quijano.

But the DepEd believes that not all 5-year-olds this year were able to enroll in kindergarten.

Quijano said they would conduct a summer kinder program at the end of the school year for incoming 6-year-old Grade 1 students who missed kindergarten.

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  • JaAb65

    Before the mandatory kindergarten, some private preschools had pupils as old as 6 and 7 years old.

    kmi nman dati advanced ng isang level ang lahat ng textbooks. grade 2 textbooks for grade 1 pupils.

  • Dennis Berboso

    Di ba 6 years elementary, 4 years junior and 2 years senior para sa K to 12?

  • boybakal

    Pre preschoolers 3-4 years old, kindergarten 5, grade one 6 and K-12.
    If the children reach grade 6 for sure they are already tired and bored of school.
    Too much school for nothing. In this age of computer, attending school is only secondary.

    Bring back the old days of 7 years old for grade one.
    Once you touch your ear by your hand on top of your head, you are already grade one or else saling pusa.
    Our education is going backwards in this computer generation.

    • Pulis Na Pogi

       normal…maledukado presidente natin e…hahahaha

  • Mhervin Usi Viray

    Kawawa yung mga bata kung sa age nila na 6 years old maliit sila, katulad ng nangyayari sa kapatid ko binubully siya ng mga kaklase niya. Dapat siguro gawing 7 years old ang grade one, at saka kawawa talaga yung mga maliliit kasi nabubully sa mga malaking bulas nilang kaklase.

  • InSearchOfTruth

    the k-12 was thought of by deped officials who were products of the old systems themselves.  are they saying that they themselves lack the necessary education? so, if they are products of the old system and lacks the neccessary education, why should we, in our right mind, trust them with this new system?

    the old system worked and still works.  we who are products of the old system never lacked the intellectuals in our generation.  unlike deped in particular, and the government in general (especially the senate and congress who are now extensions of that noon time variety show eat bulaga) who lacks intellectuals in their ranks.

    sana kahit common sense lang magkaroon ang gobyerno, hindi yung puro g@go na komedyante…

  • Joseph Aquino

    It is not about the age of the child or having a regimented age-to-grade structure. Filipinos should have more time to study Mathematics (theoretical and applied). Arithmetic should be 5 sessions per week in the elementary and high school, not 1 hour per week affair only.

    Teach algebra, statistics and calculus in high school. Ensure that even psychology students should pass Calculus. Teach how to analyze and solve worded problems. Military training should be after the graduation in the college, a pre-requisite before a diploma is awarded.

  • JaAb65

    sana magtayo nalang muna sila ng enough classrooms para iaccommodate ang lahat ng estudyante. itaas muna ang kalidad ng mga itinuturo. itaas ang sweldo ng mga guro ng di maglayasan dito sa pinas.

    ang dami pang problema sa edukasyon, nakuha pang magdagdag ng panibago.

  • joboni96

    pumutak na naman ang
    anti-masa deped

    pinapahirapan na mga pilipino
    by adding 3 more years
    bago maka graduate ng high school

    papahirapan na naman
    ang mga nahuhuli
    dahil sa kahirapan

    sipain na si luistro

    hindi tuwid na daan ito

  • boybakal

    If this DepEd people really want to upgrade our school children education.
    They should give them delicious food on recess for their brain nourishment.
    Most of our children are malnourished. That is the reason why their brains are not functioning well.
    What this DepEd is doing is adding burden to already weak brain of children.

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