At primary school

A positive start to school will help your child engage well with their peers and teachers and set them up for academic and social success. In this section, we guide you through how to prepare your child for Kindergarten and the big first day.

Video – Back to School: First Day at Kindy

Duration: 1:00

Read the transcript for audio described - Back to School 2019: First Day at Kindy video.

Starting school is a significant event in the life of children and their families. We can help support a child's successful transition to school by building strong relationships and sharing information between families, early childhood settings and schools.

Finding and enrolling in a school

Schools can help with enrolment questions throughout the year. You may need to attend an interview with the principal. There you can discuss any medical conditions or other special circumstances before your child starts school. The school may complete a risk assessment.

Looking for the right school? Use the School Finder tool to search all our public schools.

Need help enrolling your child in primary school? Refer to Primary school enrolment for more information.

When to start

Children can start Kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn 5 on or before 31 July that year. By law, all children must be in compulsory schooling by their 6th birthday.

When your child starts school is an individual decision. You may wish to discuss this with your child's preschool teacher, carer, doctor or your local primary school. 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. Your school will respond to the needs, learning styles and rates of progress of individual students. Schools also plan learning experiences based on the skills students bring with them to school.

Orientation Day

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

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

How to prepare for Kindergarten

Are you ready for the big day? Refer to our Ready for primary school checklist and get sorted for the year.

Getting started at school resources

Use our resources to help get your child ready to start school.

Getting ready for primary school (PDF 2832.19KB) – a booklet with tips and checklists to help parents prepare their child for Kindergarten.

Daisy's First Day (PDF 5650.96KB) – a children's book about Daisy the koala on her first day at primary school.

A Special Place (PDF 2453.31KB) – a children's book showing what it's like to go to school.

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