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Information for families

When children start school they move from a play-based environment to a more formal learning environment. There are many more people and relationships for children to navigate and the physical surroundings are often quite different. Families play an important role in supporting a child's transition to school.

What can families do to prepare their child for school?

There are many things that families can do to help make a child's transition to school successful including:

  • getting to know as much about the school as they can
  • talking with their child about school
  • taking their child to the school to meet the teachers and to find out where things are
  • making sure their child knows the transport arrangements for getting to and from school
  • getting to know other families with children who will be in the same class as their child
  • talking with their child about eating, toileting and hygiene at school
  • making sure their child has had experiences of public toilets, public libraries and if relevant, public transport
  • if appropriate, ensuring their child knows how before and after school hours care will work
  • answering their child's questions about school
  • reading some children's books about starting school with their child
  • always being positive and realistic about starting school.

(Taken from Our family is starting school - a handbook for parents and carers - Bob Perry, Sue Dockett: 2006)

Kindergarten programs

Enrolling a child in a Queensland Government-approved kindergarten program before they go to school will lay the foundation for their future success in school and life. Children can participate in a kindergarten program in the year before they start Prep. This means children will be at least four years old by 30 June that year.

Towards the end of a child's Kindergarten Year, teachers in collaboration with the children, their families, and support personnel develop a transition statement. Families may choose to pass on a copy of the transition statement to the school as part of their child's transition into the Prep Year.

Starting school

In Queensland, Prep is the first year of schooling. Children must be 5 by 30 June in the year they start Prep. Prep is a full time program and children attend from Monday to Friday during normal school hours.

Starting Prep is an important time for all concerned. Children are often excited by their move from kindergarten to school, families are aware of their children growing up and educators often look forward to a new year with a new group of children. For many children and families, along with the excitement goes a sense of anxiety - a sense of not being exactly sure what will happen and what school will be like.

There are some simple steps you can take to help make your child's first day of Prep more enjoyable and relaxed.

For families who require care for a child before or after school or during vacations, outside school hours care services are available in a variety of locations across the state.

Creative Commons License - Attribution CC BY

Last reviewed
23 April 2013
Last updated
23 April 2013

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