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How to gauge if your child is ready for kindergarten

It is very important to consider when your child is likely to gain the most benefit from starting school, as this will help you determine when your child's kindergarten experience should commence.

Once a child starts 3-year-old kinder, their education journey has commenced with an expectation of moving into 4-year-old kinder the following year and then school the year after.

Although every child's development is unique, observation and research suggest that children who turn 3 between January and April can benefit significantly from waiting a year and starting kinder the year they turn 4.

Steps you can take

You know your child best. However, to help make an informed decision about when to start your child's education journey, you can:

  • Discuss your options with people whose judgement you trust such as your Maternal and Child Health Nurse, kindergarten educators, school teachers (especially foundation and prep) and other parents.
  • Attend kindergarten information sessions.
  • Read up on kinder readiness.

Remember that

  • Both 3 and 4-year-old programs can have children ranging from 3, 4 and 5 years old in attendance.
  • Your child must be at school in the year that they turn 6 years of age, this is the compulsory school starting age. See the Department of Education and Training website for exemptions.
  • Access to the second year of either 3 or 4-year-old kinder is only available under limited circumstances and should not be assumed as an automatic entitlement.

What if I decide to wait another year?

There are other options to consider if you decide to wait a year. Playgroup, occasional care and family day care are available in the Bayside area and provide opportunities to develop your child's readiness for kinder.

Would you like to discuss your options?

Please contact Family Services on (03) 9599 4755.