Kindergarten today is not like it used to be – a place characterized by engagement with social skills and exploring through play. Over the past twenty years Kindergarten has become much more concentrated on academics as a result of federal, state, and local policies as well as parental concerns that emphasize acquisition of basic skills and passing standardized tests. In fact, there’s research that supports the idea that Kindergarten is the new first grade. In response, preschools have become more academic, especially promoting early reading and math skills. Children now know more than they ever have at this age about these subjects.