Starting School

Starting school is an important step in a young child's life and 'Is my child ready for school?' is a question asked by many parents.

When to start school

Your child can start Kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn five on or before 31 July in that year. By law, all children must be enrolled in school by their sixth birthday.

When to enrol

Kindergarten enrolment begins around April the year before your child will start Kindergarten. Schools will often advertise when they are taking enrolments or you can contact the school you are interested in attending to find out about enrolling your child.

The school year starts in late January after the summer vacation period. The school calendar lists school term dates.

When to start your child at school is an individual decision. You may want to discuss this with us or with your child's preschool teacher, carer or doctor. Our teachers are trained to work with your child regardless of their age or level of development.

Children develop at different rates and learn skills in different ways. It is the school's task to respond to the needs, learning styles and rates of progress of individual students. Schools also plan learning experiences based on the skills students bring to school.

Specialist advice and support is available to parents/caregivers of children with disabilities to help them access appropriate educational services. Talk to the school as early as possible about these services. You may also consider speaking to the ESL teacher at your chosen school, the Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer or the Aboriginal Education Assistant and the Special Education Consultant.

Download Getting ready for school - a guide for parents of a child with disability (PDF 423kB).

Who can I talk to?

Parents/caregivers of students starting kindergarten often want further information and advice about whether their child is ready to start school. There are a number of education professionals who may be able to offer guidance about your child's specific needs. Parents/caregivers are encouraged to speak to their child's pre-school or day care teacher or carer, the school principal, school counsellor, school K-2 supervisor and the Kindergarten teacher at school.

Orientation Day

Most schools have orientation days towards the end of the previous year to welcome children to Kindergarten. Many schools also have transition to Kindergarten programs over several weeks in the second part of the year. Contact your local school for details.