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Preparing your child for Prep

As a parent, you play a vital role in your child’s education. There are many things you can do to make your child’s first day and time at school more enjoyable.

Before Prep

Early childhood education and care services (e.g. approved kindergarten programs) can help your child get ready for Prep. You can enrol them in a kindergarten program in the year before they start Prep.

Find a service near you.

If your child is already enrolled, talk to your service provider about how they can help with the transition to school.

Ask about transition statements—a summary of your child’s development during the kindergarten year.

Indigenous pre-Prep programs

The Foundations for success (pre-Prep program) helps prepare Indigenous children (in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities) for school.

How you can help

You can help your child prepare for their first year of school by:

  • improving their independence
  • having a daily routine
  • packing a healthy lunch
  • knowing your school
  • getting involved with your school
  • doing family activities at home.

Improve your child’s independence

Before your child starts school, you should encourage them to be independent by helping them practice:

  • packing and carrying their own school bag
  • putting on their shoes
  • eating and drinking without help
  • going to the toilet on their own
  • using tissues to blow their nose
  • recognising their belongings.

Daily routines

Daily routines can help children understand what they need to do, when to do it each day and why it’s important

To help prepare your child for school, get them into a routine which includes:

  • going to bed early
  • waking up at a certain time—leave plenty of time to get ready
  • having a healthy breakfast—needed for energy and concentration
  • preparing and eating lunch
  • making time for physical activities.

Before your child starts school, make sure you talk to them about what to expect. Remember to be flexible, as it may take them some time to understand their new routine and adjust socially.

School lunch

When packing your child’s lunch:

  • provide healthy and filling food and drinks (not sweets and chips) in realistic quantities for morning tea and lunch
  • make sure they can easily open wrapped items and their lunch box
  • provide a variety of smaller items instead of 1 or 2 large items
  • provide a water bottle every day and encourage your child to use it.

Find information on the healthy food and drinks tuckshops offer in Queensland.

Contact your school or check their website for more information on healthy eating for your child.

Know your school

Help your child get to know the school environment and routine by:

  • driving past and walking around the school—especially during school hours—so your child gets used to the number of children, and their movements within the school grounds. Check-in with the school’s administration before walking around the school.
  • asking the school what equipment and materials your child needs—like a school bag, library bag or hat—most schools will have a list. Make sure all possessions are labelled with your child’s name.

Before their first day, your child should know how to easily find their classroom and where to:

  • put their things—like school bag and hat
  • have their lunch breaks
  • meet you each day when school is finished
  • go for before and after school care—if needed.

Encourage them to ask a teacher if they need help.

Contact your school for more information.

Get involved with your school

Help your child get a good start to their education. Take an interest in their schooling, be positive about it and let them know it’s important to attend.

Get involved with their school by:

  • meeting the teacher
  • informing the teacher of any changes affecting your child
  • talking to other parents
  • volunteering (e.g. in the tuckshop)
  • reading school newsletters and bulletin boards
  • attending school events like parent association meetings, fetes, open days or sporting carnivals.

Family activities at home

You can also help your child’s progress at school by doing family activities including:

  • reading aloud (develops concentration and awareness of language patterns) and writing with them—e.g. shopping lists and letters
  • stimulating their imagination and natural curiosity—e.g. visiting a zoo, park or airport
  • playing sports, and card or board games—helps develop mathematical, problem solving, language and social skills
  • shopping, walking or gardening together
  • singing their songs and nursery rhymes together.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
27 November 2014
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