The decision about when a child enrols in Prep is extremely important and should be made in the child's best educational interests to enable a positive and successful start to school.
Prep eligibility for children is from the beginning of the school year in which they will reach the age of 5 years by 30 June. All Queensland children are required to undertake Prep, prior to commencing Year 1.
Early or delayed entry to Prep are options which may be considered in specific circumstances and where it is in a child's best educational interests.
Early entry to Prep
Early entry to Prep is only possible if the child meets all the legislative conditions set out in Part 4, Section 17 of the Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2017.
A child who is younger than the prescribed age for Prep is only able to commence school early if:
- they turn 5 years by 31 July in the year they propose to attend Prep and the school principal is satisfied that the child is ready for education in the Prep year
- they have started education in another state or country that is equivalent to the Prep year
and the school principal is satisfied that the child is ready for education in the Prep year.
A program that is equivalent to the Prep year is a program that is full-time, school-based, and has a defined curriculum in the year prior to Year 1.
A parent who is interested in early entry to Prep should contact the school where they wish to enrol their child to discuss the requirements with the school principal or a member of the school's senior management team.
For further information regarding the application process for early entry to Prep:
Delayed entry to Prep for children who have not previously been enrolled in Prep
Parents may delay their child's entry to Prep (and subsequently Year 1) by one year if they feel that the child is not ready to start school. For example, the child is still developing their social and emotional skills. The child can then commence Prep at the beginning of the school year in which they turn compulsory school age (6 years and 6 months).
No formal documentation, assessment or approval is required for delayed entry to Prep.
Principals do not make decisions on delaying a child's entry to Prep. While some parents may choose to discuss their decision to delay entry with the principal, it is not necessary for them to do so.