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As schools start back into ssioesn around the country, some parents of young children face a difficult question: Send their little ones to kindergarten as soon as they become age-eligible, or hold them back in hopes that an additional year of maturity will give them an academic boost? This voluntary kindergarten delay, dubbed redshirting after the practice of benching college athletes for a season to prolong their eligibility, is a source of much national and personal debate. As kindergarten programs have become more rigorous, redshirting proponents argue, kids need to be older to handle the curriculum. For children whose birthdays fall just before the kindergarten age cut-off date, redshirting bumps them from one of the youngest in the class to one of the oldest. It's a tempting prospect for parents who don't want their child to be the least mature in the room (or the smallest in gym class). But research on redshirting suggests that the benefits are tempered by the costs, from an extra year of childcare for parents to a year less in the workforce for kids. Even the size of the benefits is up for debate. For that reason, many education experts and economists are wary of redshirting.