Preparing your child for school

This page has information about how to prepare your child for school.

To prepare your child you can:

  • enrol your child in preschool and transition
  • encourage your child to be independent
  • have a daily routine
  • get to know your school
  • get involved with your school.

Enrol your child in preschool and transition

Preschool and transition are not compulsory, but can help prepare your child for school. 

Your child's preschool or transition class may be located on the school grounds. This helps as your child is already familiar with the buildings and grounds when they start school.

You can also ask advice from your child's preschool and transition staff about preparing your child for school.

Read about what age to send your child to preschool and transition and how to find a preschool provider in your local area.

Encourage your child to be independent

You should practice all of the following tasks with your child: 

  • pack and carry their school bag
  • put on their shoes
  • manage their clothes
  • eat and drink without help
  • go to the toilet on their own
  • use tissues to blow their nose
  • recognise their belongings.

Have a daily routine

You should set up a daily routine that includes all of the following:

  • go to bed early
  • wake up at a set time with time to get ready
  • have a healthy breakfast
  • prepare a healthy lunch, including items that may be in your child's lunchbox for school
  • talk about what to expect during the school day
  • make time for physical activities.

Be flexible, as it may take time for your child to adjust to their new routine.

Get to know your school

You should:

  • show your child where the school is in relation to home
  • walk to school a few times if possible, even if you intend to drive
  • ask the school if they have open days or activities for new starters
  • ask the school if you can walk your child around the school and grounds
  • ask the school what equipment and materials your child needs - most schools have a list
  • remember to label your child's possessions with their name
  • check the school website as it may contain useful information.

Before your child's first day, your child should know:

  • how to find their classroom
  • where to put their things
  • where to have their lunch break
  • where to meet you at the end of the school day
  • where to go for before and after school care - if needed.

Contact your school if your need more information.

Get involved with your school

Take an interest in your child's schooling, be positive and let them know it is important to go to school.

You can get involved by doing any of the following:

  • meet the teachers
  • let them know if anything is affecting your child
  • talk to other parents
  • volunteer at the school
  • read school newsletters and look at the school website.

Last updated: 27 June 2017