A new study suggests that the month in which you’re born may help you out in school.

New research into the age of children as they start kindergarten found that students who are older than most of their classmates had an academic edge over their younger peers.

The working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at public-school data on children born between 1994 and 2000 in Florida, which has a Sept. 1 cutoff date for new student admission.

Researchers paid particular attention to the differences between children born in August and those born in September, because that extra month often meant the students were more likely to wait an entire year before starting school.

Data showed that the September-born children were 2.1 percent more likely to attend college compared to their August-born classmates.

They also were 3.3 percent more likely to graduate from college, and 15.4 percent less likely to be get into trouble with the law while underage.

“It certainly doesn’t tell parents to hold (children) back,” Krzysztof Karbownik, one of the report’s authors, told TODAY. “That’s the biggest misinterpretation that people can draw from the research.”

Parents first need to think of the needs and personality of their individual child, and not just consider whether redshirting would give their student an academic advantage, he said.

While this is an American study I think Aussie parents may also find this info helpful for younger children who are just before the cutoff age.

One important thing to remember is “If you’re on the fence, send them to kindergarten. If they struggle, then have them repeat kindergarten.”

In Tassie the first full year of school is Prep and our cut off is December – being February/March babies my boys were both turning six when they started school full time. You can certainly notice a HUGE difference.

How old will your child be when they first start full time school?

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  • I agree with this article. In my experience, children whom start kindy later tend to be more emotionally ready for the schooling environment and can concentrate more. There can however be exceptions to this.


  • I agree with this article. In my experience I have found when a child starts kindy as an older child, they tend to be more emotionally prepared for the schooling environment and can concentrate more on the academic aspects. However there can always be exceptions to this.


  • Nonsense. Students all even out by Year 2 and the rest depends on maturity and learning skills in general, not birth month.


  • I think it also depends on how interactive the parents are in helping their kids learn and how much they teach them.


  • why do we do this research – what end benefit is there – are all future mums going to plan conceiving so they end up with a September baby? I think not – I think this sort of research is pointless and time and money wasting – so many people are dying of incurable diseases, mental health issues etc surely money spent on researching would be better spent on something that can actually benefit people rather than just a bunch of statistics?


  • some kids are just smarter than others in academics or better at sports etc. Each child is good at their own set of skills and that makes it hard to judge in regards to school where it is set courses for learning. Schools should try different approaches for teaching


  • I have a September baby starting kindy next year and he turned 4 last sunday. So he should be smack in the middle of his age group.


  • Mine will be 5 when he starts school.


  • My kids were 5 turning 6 when they started kindy.


  • My daughter is one of the youngest in her year and it doesn’t seem to have affected her grades or social interactions.


  • My second son makes the cutoff by a few days, so have decided to wait a year. So much research showing the benefits of starting a bit later versus starting earlier. They’ll grow up quick enough anyway :)


  • My daughter went to kindy the year she was turning 6. The cut-off was at the end of July and she missed it for less than a month. But I never found it a problem.


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