Getting ready for preschool

By attending a preschool program your child will learn valuable skills that support language and literacy development, social and emotional skills, creativity, confidence and motor skills. In this section, we will guide you through how to prepare your child for their preschool education.

Going to preschool

The idea of preschool can be a bit daunting for many parents. You may feel like your little one is growing up too fast. Don't worry! Preschool is a time when your child will have lots of fun with children their own age.

Preschool helps to develop and broaden the way children experience education, encouraging them to become confident, eager and enthusiastic learners who are looking forward to starting big school.

What is a preschool program

Preschool programs are usually for children aged 3 to 5 years, or the 2 years before they start primary school. They support children’s learning and development through play-based activities and help your child to become more independent, make new friends and get ready to start school.

Preschool programs are delivered in a variety of early childhood education and care services:

  • community-based preschools

  • long day care services

  • mobile preschools

  • family day care services

  • NSW Department of Education preschools.

Depending on the service your child attends, you may find the following people working there:

  • Centre Director – manages the day-to-day operations of centre based services.

  • Early childhood teachers – work directly with children and are degree-qualified.

  • Early childhood educators – work directly with children and hold, or are studying for, an approved Certificate III or Diploma.

  • Support staff – support children with additional needs.

  • Administration staff – support with administrative tasks at the service.

Finding and enrolling in a preschool

Choosing the right service that offers a preschool program is an exciting decision and great for your child’s learning and development outcomes. It’s important to research the different options available to determine which service will best meet the needs of you and your child.

Things to consider:

  • a service’s quality rating

  • your child’s age

  • the times and days your child needs education and care

  • location – e.g. close to home, work or a family member’s home

  • your religious and cultural requirements

  • any health care or additional needs.

Visiting services is a great way to find more information about what you can expect and is an opportunity to:

  • ask the educators how they plan for and meet the individual needs of each child

  • observe the children and educators and what they’re doing

  • see the environment and consider if it’s inviting and if there are stimulating experiences available

    take your child, if possible, to see how they respond to the service.

How to find a service with a quality preschool program

Use the early childhood education finder to locate services offering a preschool program by entering an address and then selecting ‘preschool’ or ‘mobile service’ to see a list of services.

The finder also provides reliable and family- friendly information about quality ratings and the National Quality Standard.

Find out more about choosing a quality service.

Preparing for preschool

Find more about preparing for preschool, including:

  • A checklist of what your child needs on their first day.
  • What you need to tell your preschool.
  • What your child should wear.

Getting ready for preschool guide

View or download the PDF below.

Image: Download our Getting ready for preschool guide for 2024

Download our Getting ready for preschool guide in English


  • Teaching and learning


  • Preschool

Business Unit:

  • Communication and Engagement
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