Transition to School

Supporting preschool and kindergarten children through their early education transitions helps them to become secure, confident learners, ready to engage with educators and peers. Transit to school2

Register for the Starting School Webinar


Why preparation for school is important's not so children can write their name or read the alphabet... Starting school is an important milestone for children and families. There are lots of new things to adjust to like new routines and people, new classrooms and spaces to navigate. For families, there are practical matters like uniforms, lunch boxes, teacher names, and school times, rules and policies. Wellbeing is a big consideration too. Children, and parents, can go from feeling a little nervous to very anxious, and may worry about making mistakes, making new friends, or finding their way around. Long before the first day of school, carers, parents, and schools collaborate on ways to support children and families as they prepare for preschool and kindergarten.

Preparation is key to happy transitions -
think friendships, positivity, visits or virtual tours,
and reading books about starting school with children...

We’ve asked parents about what they did to prepare their child/ren for starting preschool or kindy. The level of preparation usually depends on a child’s previous care - such as in-home care, childcare centre, relatives, or playgroups. One parent walked past the local preschool every Friday morning on their way to playgroup with their two-year-old for 12 months. Watching the children playing prompted lots of discussions about going to preschool.

Parents have found it useful to:

  • visit the school website
  • follow the school on Facebook
  • read or subscribe to the school newsletter
  • learn about the school’s communication channels
  • register to go to the school orientation day
  • visit the school with your child
  • read books about starting school
  • talk about starting school with your child
  • organise a playdate with other prospective students
  • read stories regularly
  • become familiar with play-based learning and child development.

Transition to School – Parent Forum

Council's annual Transition to School Parent Forum provides practical tips to help plan and prepare for school. The 2021 Forum webinar (35 min) is presented by Council with the following speakers:

  • Dr Kathryn Hopps, Adjunct Research Fellow, Charles Sturt University, and BeYou Consultant Early Childhood Australia
  • Michele Foley and Linda Francis, ACT Education Directorate

Top Tips & Links

See Kathryn's Top Tips for getting ready for school, and download this extensive parent and carer reference guide - including a list of Books to Read with your child about starting school. 

This is a great clip to watch with your child - school children telling other children what a day at Kindergarten might look like. Watching this together will help start conversations about what may happen at preschool or school. 

STARTING SCHOOL OR PRESCHOOL WEBINAR TIPS FOR STARTING PRESCHOOL OR SCHOOL:  Dr Kathryn Hopps, Adjunct Research Fellow, Charles Sturt University, BeYou Consultant ECA Michele Foley, ACT Education Directorate Linda Francis, ACT Education Directorate