Advice on when to start your child on their education journey

Starting kindergarten is a big step for children. Once a child commences 3-year-old kindergarten, their education journey has begun with the expectation of moving to 4-year-old kindergarten the following year and school the year after.

Every child’s development is unique; however, research shows that children who turn 3 between January and April of the kindergarten year can significantly benefit from waiting a year and starting 3-year-old kindergarten in the year they turn 4.

As your child will turn three between January and April, you might like to consider the following:

  • Independence: can your child attend to their belongings, pack their bag, open, and close their lunch box, and manage their clothing?
  • Emotions: will they be able to regulate their emotions through a long day of learning at kindergarten? Will they manage being younger than their peers at kindergarten and then school?
  • Stamina: will your child be able to thrive during a 5 or 7.5-hour day of kindergarten (we don’t want them to just cope!)? How will they manage when attending five days of school filled with learning, new expectations, and social demands at four years of age?
  • Readiness for secondary school (starting high school at 12 rather than 13): secondary school may be hard to consider when your child is young, but starting kindergarten early means they will commence secondary school at 12 years of age. Secondary school children may be required to catch public transport, have a mobile phone, and access social media. They will be required to navigate (sometimes) complex peer relationships and big decisions at a younger age than their peers. Consider their ability to navigate difficult emotional and social situations such as getting into a car, alcohol, puberty, subject and career choices – when they may be a year younger than their peers.

Another consideration is that due to ratio regulation, children cannot participate in the program until the session after their third birthday. This includes the orientation session. For children born in March or April, this means they will miss nearly a term of 3-year-old kinder. You can read more about ratio requirements in the Early Years here.

This information is intended to ensure that all families have the information they need to make an informed decision regarding their child’s education.

For some children, starting kindergarten and school younger may be the right decision. However, if you would like to defer your child’s start year or would like to discuss starting kindergarten further, please don’t hesitate to email or call us.

We are here to help.