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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

Approved kindergarten programs can help your child get ready for school in a play based learning environment. 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, ask your child’s kindergarten about transitions to school and transition statements.

How you can help

All children have different interests, needs and motivations and each child’s transition from kindy to Prep will be unique. You can help your child to feel more comfortable about starting school by engaging in everyday activities.

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

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

Build your child’s confidence

  • Help to build your child’s coping skills and increase their self-confidence by finding answers to their questions or concerns together.
  • Talk to your child about how to ask for help and model what to say.
  • Ask your child’s kindy teacher for ideas about how you can help your child to start school
  • Talk through some “what will I do if….?” situations with your child, for example “what will I do if my yoghurt spills?”

Strengthen your child’s independence

Before your child starts school, you can encourage independence by helping your child to 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, encourage a routine which includes:

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

Packing a healthy lunch

When packing your child’s lunch:

  • include them in making choices and helping you
  • provide healthy and filling food 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 drink it.

Find information about healthy food and drinks on the Smart choices webpage.

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 and especially during school hours and 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 and like a school bag, library bag or hat and 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 and like school bag and hat
  • have their lunch breaks
  • meet you each day when school is finished
  • go for before and after school care and if needed.

Contact your school for more information.

Get involved with your school

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

Help your new Prep teacher get to know your child. Provide your child's kindergarten transition statement and talk to the teacher about:

  • your child's interests
  • how your child learns
  • your goals for your child.

Get involved with their school by:

  • meeting the teacher
  • attending school events with your child, such as transition programs and open day events
  • 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 and e.g. shopping lists and letters
  • stimulating their imagination and natural curiosity and e.g. visiting a zoo, park or airport
  • playing sports, and card or board games and 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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