Kindergarten Education Act (Republic Act 10157)

April 17, 2012

DepEd Order No. 32, s. 2012



Assistant Secretaries
Bureau Directors
Directors of Services, Centers and Heads of Unit
Regional Secretary, ARMM
Regional Directors
Chiefs of Divisions
Schools Division/City Superintendents
Heads, Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools All Others Concerned

1. For the information and guidance of all concerned, enclosed is a copy of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10157 entitled “An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education Into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefor,” otherwise known as the “Kindergarten Education Act.”

2. Pursuant to Section 24 thereof, these IRR shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

3. All Orders, Memoranda and other related issuances inconsistent with these IRR are deemed amended accordingly upon its effectivity.

4. Immediate dissemination of and strict compliance with this Order is directed.


(Enclosure to DepEd Order No. 32, s. 2012)


Pursuant to the provision of Section 9 of Republic Act No. 10157, “An Act Institutionalizing The Kindergarten Education Into The Basic Education System And Appropriating Funds Therefor”, otherwise known as the ”Kindergarten Education Act”, approved on January 20, 2012, and which took effect on March 14, 2012, conformably to Section 12 thereof, the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Budget and Management, hereby issues the following rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the Act.


Section 1. Title. – These rules and regulations shall be referred to as the “Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10157, otherwise known as the Kindergarten Education Act”.

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. – These rules shall be interpreted in the light of the Declaration of Policy found in the Section 2 of the Act:

“In consonance with the Millennium Development Goals on achieving Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015, it is hereby declared the policy of the State to provide equal opportunities for all children to avail of accessible mandatory and compulsory kindergarten education that effectively promotes physical, social, intellectual, emotional and skills stimulation and values formation to sufficiently prepare them for formal elementary schooling. This Act shall apply to elementary school system being the first stage of compulsory and mandatory formal education. Thus, kindergarten will now be an integral part of the basic education system of the country.

Kindergarten education is vital to the academic and technical development of the Filipino child for it is the period when the young mind’s absorptive capacity for learning is at its sharpest. It is also the policy of the State to make education learner-oriented and responsive to the needs, cognitive and cultural capacity, the circumstances and diversity of learners, schools and communities through the appropriate languages of teaching and learning. ”

Section 3. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this IRR, the following definition of terms is hereby adopted:

3.1. Act refers to Republic Act 10157, otherwise known as the Kindergarten Education Act.

3.2. IRR shall refer to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10157.

3.3. DepEd shall refer to the Department of Education.

3.4. BEE shall refer to the Bureau of Elementary Education.

3.5. Kindergarten education shall mean one (1) school year of preparatory education for children at least five (5) years old as a prerequisite for Grade I.

3.6. Mother tongue refers to the home language or the language first learned by a child.

3.7. Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) is formal or non-formal education in which the learner’s mother tongue and additional languages are used in the classroom.

3.8. Kindergarten Education General Curriculum (KEGC) shall mean the standard curriculum for kindergarten developed by the Department of Education.

3.9. School Readiness Assessment (SReA) is a tool to determine the level of progress of Grade One entrants across different developmental domains that are critical in tackling Grade 1 learning competencies.

Section 4. Institutionalization of Kindergarten Education. – Pursuant to Section 4 of the Act, kindergarten education is hereby institutionalized as part of basic education and for SY 2011-2012 shall be implemented partially, and thereafter, it shall be made mandatory and compulsory for entrance to Grade 1.

4.1. General Kindergarten Program. This shall refer to the ten-month program provided to children who are at least five years old in regular elementary schools using thematic and integrative curriculum to ensure the development of foundational skills among children to prepare them for Grade 1.

4.1.1. Inclusiveness of Kindergarten Education. To cater to the needs of the learners with special needs: the gifted, those with disabilities, and other diverse learners, the following services in addition to the standards provided in the preceding section, shall be adopted: Headstart Program for the Gifted. This shall refer to a comprehensive program for the gifted and talented pupils in public elementary schools designed to address the educational, aesthetic, and social needs of children who manifest superior intelligence beyond their chronological age. Early Intervention Program for Children with Disabilities. This shall refer to the program designed for children who are identified with special educational needs. The program provides services that will arrest further handicapping conditions of children with disabilities. This intervention could either be home-, school-, or community-based. Kindergarten Madrasah Program (KMP). This shall refer to the program provided for Muslim pupils enrolled in the public schools with Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) classes, as well as those in the private madaris using the Standard Madrasah Curriculum prescribed by the Department. Indigenous Peoples (IP) Education. This shall refer to the program which ensures the preservation, recognition, promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous people, their ancestral domain, cultural identity and heritage. It incorporates special needs, histories, identities, languages, indigenous knowledge systems and practices, and other aspects of their culture, as well as their social, economic, and cultural priorities and aspirations.

4.2. Catch-Up Program for Children under Especially Difficult Circumstances. The DepEd shall create a catch-up program for children six years old and above under especially difficult circumstances, such as, but not limited to, chronic illness, displaced children due to armed conflict, urban resettlement, disasters, and child labor practice, who are not able to finish the General Kindergarten Program.

Section 5. Medium of Instruction. – Pursuant to Section 5 of the Act, the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) method is hereby adopted. The mother tongue of the learners shall be the primary medium of instruction for teaching and learning in the kindergarten level in public schools. However, exceptions shall be made to the following cases:

5.1. When the pupils in the kindergarten classroom have a different mother tongue or when some of them speak another mother tongue;

5.2. When the teacher does not speak the mother tongue of the learners;

5.3. When resources, in line with the use of the mother tongue, are not yet available; and

5.4. When teachers are not yet trained on how to implement the MTB-MLE program.

In such exceptional cases, the primary medium of instruction shall be determined by the DepEd aligned with the framework being used in the elementary level including teacher training and production of local resources and materials under DepEd Order No. 74, series of 2009.

The DepEd, in coordination with the Commission on the Filipino Language (Komisyon Sa Wikang Filipino) and in close collaboration with academic and research institutions concerned with education, shall formulate a mother tongue-based multilingual framework for teaching and learning; Provided, That the DepEd shall include teaching strategies as defined in Section 7.3 of this IRR which aims to introduce and eventually strengthen the child’s understanding of English, which is the official language.


Section 6. Kindergarten Division. – For purposes of Section 6 of the Act, the Kindergarten Division, which shall be under the BEE, is hereby created. The Secretary of the DepEd shall have the authority to regulate the organization, operation and/or implementation of the kindergarten education program of both public and private schools.

Section. 7. Duties, Powers and Functions. – The Secretary of the DepEd, through the appropriate offices, shall exercise the following powers and functions:

7.1. Oversee and supervise the organization, operation and implementation of the kindergarten education program;

7.2. Develop and periodically review developmentally appropriate curriculum for kindergarten education consistent with the universally accepted norms and standards, including values formation, and use of Mother Tongue as a medium of instruction;

7.3. Develop teaching strategies using the unique features of the MTB-MLE which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

7.3.1. The two-track method (storytelling and reading, listening story, oral communication activities);

7.3.2. Interactive strategies;

7.3.3. Use of manipulative games; and

7.3.4. Experiential, small group discussions and Total Physical Response (TPR) among others.

The learning development materials shall consist of the following at the minimum:

a. Listening story. A story written by the teacher, in relation to the theme, that is read aloud for story appreciation and understanding;

b. Small books. Story books which provide opportunities for an individual child to look at pictures, browse, and read independently, which are the crucial steps in a child’s journey to early and lifelong literacy;

c. Big books. Story books intended for group or shared reading with the teacher for teaching children to focus or pay attention and enhance their listening and comprehension skills while in a group;

d. Experience story. A story written by the teacher based on the experiences of the children;

e. Primer lessons. Structured and frequency-based lessons using the mother tongue’s orthography; and

f. Lesson exemplars. Sample lessons in the mother tongue using the two-track method.

7.4. Conceive, develop and extend a continuing professional development program

for kindergarten teachers to ensure constant updating of their knowledge in current trends, pedagogy, methodologies and concepts on kindergarten education;

7.5. Prescribe the necessary qualifications for the hiring and accreditation of teachers who will handle the kindergarten classes;

7.6. Exercise authority over the operation of private kindergarten institutions;

7.7. Supervise the establishment of various venues for early childhood education specifically kindergarten which may be institution-based, home-based, hospital based or community-based, and which shall be duly accredited by the DepEd; and

7.8. Introduce innovative programs in kindergarten that shall include educational technologies, whenever applicable.


Section 8. Kindergarten Curriculum. – Pursuant to Section 7.2 of this IRR, the DepEd through the BEE, shall continue to develop a Kindergarten Education General Curriculum (KEGC). The curriculum shall include standards and competencies expected of five-year old children along developmental domains. It shall focus on the child’s total development according to his/her individual needs and socio-cultural background. The curriculum shall likewise promote the delivery of complementary, integrative services for cognitive development, health and safety, care, nutrition, sanitation, psycho-socio-emotional, cultural and values formation activities; Provided, That it shall ensure to maximize at least three hours in managing the blocks of time with daily-planned activities; Provided further, That the curriculum shall be executed in a play-based manner through active learning experiences making children feel that learning can be enjoyable and meaningful.

The curriculum shall take into account the distinctive features of children’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive functioning appropriate to their age, developmental stage and the culture and values of their environment: family, school and community.

In furtherance of Section 4.1.1 of this IRR, the curriculum shall be inclusive to address the unique needs of diverse learners, among them:

8.1. Headstart Curriculum for the Gifted which shall provide a variety of learning experiences that are over and above that of the general curriculum and shall be intellectually challenging, complex and abstract while developing self-confidence and the ability to get along with others;

8.2. Early Intervention Curriculum which shall be individualized and modified to suit the unique needs of children with disabilities. Options may range from the regular, modified and special curriculum with adaptations, alterations or augmentations in structures, content, approaches, strategies, and materials using augmentative and alternative communication system as well as behavior management techniques;

8.3. Kindergarten Madrasah Curriculum which shall provide Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education;

8.4. Indigenous Peoples Education Curriculum which shall provide an educational service acceptable to Indigenous Peoples in general and to specific communities in particular, and shall be localized to suit the unique needs of learners relevant to their worldviews, conditions, needs, indigenous knowledge systems and practices; and

8.5. Catch-Up Kindergarten Curriculum which shall consist of readiness skills and developmentally appropriate practices to develop the social, motor and other critical skills that the child would have learned or acquired from GKEP where if not for the especially difficult circumstances referred to in Section 4.2 of this IRR.


Section 9. Instructional Support. – Pursuant to Section 6 of the Act, the DepEd shall provide basic instructional support to kindergarten classes in public schools. For this purpose, the instructional support shall include, but shall not be limited to the following:

9.1. Basic Instructional Materials for Kindergarten Education. The Basic Instructional Materials for teachers and children shall complement the different features of the curriculum prescribed by the DepEd. It shall include, but shall not be limited to, the National Kindergarten Curriculum Guide for Teachers, Standards and Competencies for Five-Year Old, worksheets and supplementary reading materials, manipulative toys, learning games and multi-media materials.

9.2. Physical Facilities. The DepEd shall ensure the provision of the following:

9.2.1. Classroom that shall allow the flexibility for group and individual activities. The recommended space requirement for a kindergarten classroom is 2.10 sq. meter per child.

9.2.2. Furniture such as tables, chairs and shelves appropriate for kindergarten age children, including the table, chair and cabinet for the teacher.

9.2.3. Multi-Media Equipment compatible with kindergarten multi-media materials and assistive technology.

9.2.4. Health Facilities such as toilet, bathroom and hand washing facilities suitable to the height of kindergarten children.

9.2.5. Play area appropriate for kindergarten children.


Section 10. Hiring and Deployment. – Pursuant to Section 7 (e) of the Act, in addition to the guidelines for hiring issued by the Secretary of the DepEd, a kindergarten teacher shall have at least 18 units of Early Childhood Education (ECE) or its equivalent units as determined by the appropriate agency.

Section 11. Professional Development. – The DepEd shall continue to develop a set of standards for Kindergarten teachers. The standards shall reflect performance expected of kindergarten teachers within varied environments which include classrooms, childcare settings, children’s homes or any natural environment where individual child activities, parent-child activities and small or large group instruction take place.

To enable the public kindergarten teachers to meet the set of standards, a continuing teacher training shall be provided by the DepEd in partnership with the Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) determined as Centers of Excellence (COE). Schools Division offices may initiate need-based trainings utilizing their core of trainers or in partnership with qualified service providers.


Section 12. Pursuant to Section 6 and Section 7 (f) of the Act, the Secretary of the DepEd shall have the authority to regulate the organization, operation and /or implementation of the kindergarten education program of both public and private schools.

Section 13. Private institutions may offer kindergarten education only when so authorized by the DepEd.

Section 14. The Regional Director shall have the authority, responsibility and accountability in approving the establishment of private kindergarten institutions and ensuring compliance of the school to the national educational policies, plans and standards.

Section 15. The DepEd shall prescribe the guidelines on the issuance of permit to and/or recognition of kindergarten schools, and revocation thereof through the Revised Manual of Regulations for Private Schools in Basic Education.


Section 16. For SY 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, the following provisions are hereby adopted:

16.1. The completion of the Kindergarten Summer Program or the Early Childhood Experiences in Grade 1 Program shall be deemed sufficient compliance with the requirement of kindergarten education for entrance to Gradel as stipulated in the Act.

16.1.1. Kindergarten Summer Program. – This refers to the eight-week kindergarten program of the DepEd given during summer for prospective Grade I enrolees.

16.1.2. Early Childhood Experiences in Grade 1 Program. – Children who are six to eleven years old and have not undergone any kindergarten program may be admitted to Grade 1 provided they pass the School Readiness Assessment (SReA). In case the child fails the SReA, the child shall undergo the existing eight-week curriculum, otherwise known as, Early Childhood Experiences in Grade 1 Program, prescribed by the DepEd.

16.2. Hiring of Volunteer Teachers. – The DepEd shall engage the services of volunteer teachers to handle kindergarten classes.

16.2.1. Volunteer teachers refer to teachers who meet the qualifications mentioned in Section 10 of this IRR. In case there are no qualified volunteer teachers, those who are holders of an education degree or education-related courses shall be considered.

16.3. Elementary teachers with sufficient training on ECE as determined by the DepEd shall be assigned to kindergarten classes without jeopardizing their functions and shall be entitled to just compensation.

Section 17. Private entities offering free kindergarten education shall be allowed to operate for a period of two years from the date of effectivity of these Rules. Thereafter, said institutions shall cease to operate unless authorized by the Department of Education.


Section 18. The DepEd shall enhance the existing monitoring and evaluation (M & E) system for the kindergarten education program for both public and private schools. BEE shall collaborate with the Office of Planning Service (OPS) for the identification of common indicators to be monitored. The M & E system shall have the following objectives and scope:

18.1. Track progress of implementation of various kindergarten programs to identify best practices, issues and gaps;

18.2. Determine the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of various kindergarten programs every three years;

18.3. Conduct various research studies for the development of innovative and cutting-edge kindergarten programs; and

18.4. Utilize the data collected through the existing information system of the DepEd for purposes of program enhancement and policy formulation.

The kindergarten performance shall be published annually for various education stakeholders to ensure transparency and accountability.

Section 19. Regional Directors and Schools Division Superintendent shall ensure that:

19.1. All schools offering kindergarten comply with the DepEd policies and guidelines in accordance with this IRR; and

19.2. Existing guidelines on the deployment of kindergarten teachers are strictly complied with.

Section 20. For purposes of tracking the progress of the learners, the Department of Education shall assign a Learner Reference Number (LRN) to each child in kindergarten.


Section 21. Appropriations. – Pursuant to Section 8 of the Act, the initial funding for the operationalization of the free, mandatory and compulsory public kindergarten education shall be charged against the current appropriations for kindergarten education of the DepEd. Thereafter, such sums which shall be necessary for the continued implementation of the free public kindergarten education program shall be charged to the General Fund and included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Section 22. Separability Clause.- Should any provision of this IRR be subsequently declared invalid or unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity and effectivity of the other provisions.

Section. 23. Repealins Clause. – Pursuant to Section 11 of the Act, pertinent provisions of all other laws, decrees, executive orders and rules and regulations, including the provisions of Republic Act No. 8980, contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of the Act are deemed repealed or modified accordingly.

Section. 24. Effectivity Clause – These Rules shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.



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