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Cramming For Kindergarten

More and more parents are seeking tutors for their little ones to make sure that they're prepared for that very first day of school.

But for the Study Hall report, The Early Show correspondent Melinda Murphy found out not everybody agrees it's a good idea to be cramming for kindergarten.

Haley Califano is a pretty normal 5-year-old. She likes coloring books and the Hula Hoop. But her mother, Christine, was concerned that with kindergarten fast approaching, learning her ABCs was throwing Haley for a loop.

"It wasn't that she had any kind of limitations," Christine Califano says, "It was that she really wasn't interested, and she needed to be motivated a little more."

So she took Haley for private tutoring at the Sylvan Learning Center in Huntington, L.I.

"It is unfortunate that you have to do all this preparation for kindergarten, but you really do," Califano says.

The learning center's director, Janice McQuaid, says that more preschoolers are coming in for tutoring because kindergarten has gotten tougher.

"We are getting more requests from parents to start with their children earlier," McQuaid explains, "I worked in a kindergarten class 15 years ago. And I think what was taught in that classroom 15 years ago is traditionally now in the Pre-K classroom. Now what's in the kindergarten classroom was traditionally what was in first grade. So I think there's been a shift in the continuum."