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When To Start ‘Big School’

At least once in life as a parent, we ask ourselves this question…

“Is my child ready to start school next year?”

“Should I send him/her to school or wait another year?”

This question is totally normal and makes perfect sense as we try to ‘work out’ the pros and cons of formal education for our own child.

Let me break this down for you if you are asking yourself this question.

Firstly, in Australia, there is a compulsory school age for when children ‘should’ start school. There is a little wriggle room here though. For example, in QLD where I live, children must be five years old by June 30 of the year they enrol (begin Prep).

Secondly, delayed entry is a decision for a child’s parents and can be on the basis of parents feeling that their child is not yet ready to cope with the demands of going to school daily and/or they have developmental issues. Parents who delay their child starting school need to ensure the child is enrolled prior to them being six years and six months old.

*Please check your own state’s guidelines for starting ages if you reside outside of Queensland.

Thirdly, if you are a parent questioning school entry, as mentioned earlier, if it is based on developmental issues, the year that you delay school I would recommend that be the year that you would seek early intervention and support for the child such as Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, part-time day care/kindy – whatever is relevant to assist your child to make developmental gains. These are all services parents can access once they speak with their GP/child health nurse or Paediatrician.

Lastly, if you are unsure about your child’s development or you are wondering if they will cope with the demands of school, I suggest you try the the following to help you get clear;

· Speak with your child’s childcare educator

· Make an appointment with your family doctor or health nurse to voice your concerns

· Stay tuned to my socials, email newsletters and head over to my Resources Page as I have heaps of useful and in-depth information to help you feel clear about your child’s developmental milestones and what you need to know to get them ready for Big School!



Hi! I’m Chalkie.

I want to empower you to feel confident as a parent and to help you gain clarity about your parenting role!

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