Transition to School

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

Preparation for school

Starting the early years of schooling is a momentous time for children and families. With many new experiences, changes to routines, new locations, and new friends. There are practical matters like enrolments, uniforms, backpacks, and lunch boxes, as well as big feelings to manage. Long before the first day of school, teachers and parents collaborate to support children and their families to prepare for school. 

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

We’ve asked parents about the things they did to prepare children for starting preschool or kindy. Preparation depends on a child’s previous care experiences ie in-home care, childcare centre, relatives as carers, or playgroups. Parents tell us they have found it useful to do some of the following:

  • walk past the school with your child and talk about what they can see,
  • Explore preschool pathways,
  • register for the school's orientation day,
  • download the parent reference guide full of handy of links for starting school.
  • make an appointment to visit the school with your child,
  • look up the school website,
  • join or follow the parent association on Facebook or via email,
  • subscribe to the school newsletter,
  • look at pictures of the school,
  • read books about starting school, making friends, and big emotions,and talk positively about school with your child,
  • organise a playdate with other students,
  • learn about play and play-based learning,

Parent Webinar - view recording here (8min)

Council's Transition to School Webinar provides practical tips to help plan and prepare children for preschool and/or kindergarten. 

Dr Kathryn Hopps, Adjunct Research Associate at Charles Sturt University and a Consultant with Early Childhood Australia on the Be You mental health initiative. Kathryn's research expertise is in transitions to primary school. 
Simone Hobday and Anne Gummow, ACT Education Directorate.