National Kindergarten Day

National Kindergarten Day is a holiday that’s celebrated on April 21st annually. This holiday was established to honor the birthday of Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel—the man who is credited with starting the first kindergarten in Germany in 1837. He was a German teacher who recognized that the success of students often depended on setting children up with an adequate educational base, and the kindergarten is such a base.

The History of Kindergarten

Although we were unable to ascertain the origin of National Kindergarten Day, we do know the history of kindergarten quite well. In 1837, Friedrich Frobel started the “Play & Activity Institute” in the village of Bad Blankenburg in Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. He started it to socialize children before they entered school. Eventually, he renamed the institute Kindergarten—a word that means “garden of children”—in the summer of 1840.

Women trained by Mr. Frobel opened kindergartens all over the world. The first U.S. kindergarten was founded in Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1856. This school was conducted in German by Margaretha Meyer-Schurz. The first English-speaking kindergarten in the United States wouldn’t open until 1873. This is the date when Susan Blow opened up an English-speaking kindergarten in St. Louis, Missouri.

Facts About Kindergartens

We’ve gathered up quite a collection of facts about kindergartens, so we thought that we’d share some of them with our readers. The following facts show just how many children benefit from the kindergarten system and how important it is to the general education of children.

  • Children enrolled in kindergarten in the U.S. during 1990: 1.3 million.
  • Children enrolled in kindergarten in the U.S. during 2015: 3.7 million.
  • Thirty-four U.S. states offer half-day kindergarten.
  • Eleven states plus Washington, D.C., require full-day kindergarten.
  • Nineteen states require children to be five by September 1st to enroll in kindergarten.
  • In 2015, the average salary for a kindergarten teacher was approximately $53,000.
  • In 2010, fifteen percent of kids entering kindergarten spoke a language other than English.
  • The number of U.S. states that don’t require kindergarten: five.
  • Alaska, Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey (except for the Abbott School District).
  • Ages in one kindergarten class can differ by as much as 18 months.

Observing National Kindergarten Day

One of the first ways that people can celebrate this holiday is by educating themselves on the importance of kindergarten to millions of children—not only in the United States but all over the world. It’s also a good day to show some appreciation to your child’s kindergarten teacher, to volunteer to take part in kindergarten classroom activities, or help your favorite kindergarten teacher buy school supplies. Anyone celebrating this holiday can also use the hashtag #NationalKindergartenDay to raise the profile of this holiday and encourage other people to celebrate it.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 21 Sunday
Next year (2025)
April 21 Monday
Last year (2023)
April 21 Friday
Education & Reading