Re: early kyu expectations
maybe here in Belgium we are learning very slowly....I am 2nd kyu with over 5 years of aikido under my belt, and we also have other 2nd kyus with 8 years of training. I never knew anyone who got 2nd kyu after 2 years, but two or three people who got 3rd kyu after 2 years, which was already considered an achievement. This applies for people training 2 - 4 times per week.
I know one single person who made it to 1st dan in 5 years, but that guy is very, very talented and goes to training every day of the week and to seminars every week-end.
But concerning ukemi - there is no standard as such, but normally people start doing acceptable "normal" mae/ushiro ukemi before their 5th kyu test (after 6 - 12 months of training) and do all sorts of ukemi on all sorts of techniques when coming to 5th or 4th kyu. This includes breakfalls and the soft Tissier style ukemi, although we have no one in our dojo being able to perform or teach us ushiro otoshi (the backwards breakfall).
All the best,