The Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Programs within the Columbia Union Conference provide a faith-based, nurturing, active, and challenging environment that encourages curiosity and active learning for children from birth to entrance into formal schooling. In collaboration with the home and church, it is critical that a well-rounded ECEC program be established to meet the needs of a child’s spiritual, physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development, which will affect their lifelong love of learning.


September 30 has been designated by the State Department of Education as the date by which a child must be six (6) years old to enter first grade and five (5) years old to enter Kindergarten. However, research indicates that children entering Kindergarten at 5 1/2 perform better academically. Therefore, Spring Valley Academy’s age deadline for Early 5’s (E5) Kindergarten, and Kindergarten is the first day of school. Before a child can be placed, they must first meet the age requirement both developmentally and chronologically. Spring Valley Academy uses the Gesell Developmental Observation assessment as the basis for placement recommendation. This test is administered before students enter the next grade.

Departments Minimum Age at the Start of School Year
Early 5’s Kindergarten 4 years old
Kindergarten 5 years old
Placement Options
Age eligibility and Developmental Age Met, Parent Choice Below Developmental Age Eligibility, School Placement Honored