- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii Department of Education is reminding parents that the upcoming new school year comes with changes in kindergarten requirements.

Starting this school year, children must be 5 years old by July 31 to enter kindergarten. Previously, children could enter kindergarten if they turned 5 by December 31.

Kindergarten is now mandatory in Hawaii.

An estimated 5,000 so-called late-born children will be affected by age change. The change has some parents worried about paying for an extra year of preschool.

The state’s Executive Office on Early Learning announced earlier this year that 21 pre-kindergarten classrooms will be available at 18 schools statewide for children from families meeting income restrictions and are born between Aug. 1, 2009 and July 31, 2010.

The new school year begins Aug. 1.

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