14th November 2019

6 Tips to Prepare Your Child for the Transition From Childcare to School

transition to school tips

With the 2019 school year soon coming to a close, now is the perfect time to start introducing the concept of “big school” and preparing your child for the transition.

As many of our Guardian centres are hosting Kindergarten Information Evenings for parents, we asked the teams at Guardian Augustine Heights and Underwood for their advice. 

Here are six of the centres’ top tips to prepare your child for the transition from childcare to school:

6 tips transition to school

  1. Incorporate literacy and numeracy learning in your home routine. 

Encourage your child to talk about the things that interest them. Other ideas include: looking at junk mail and discussing the products that are for sale, playing vocabulary games together, counting items together, make comparisons and discussing the different sizes of items. For example, “Which one is the biggest, which is smaller?”

  1. Read familiar texts with rhyme, rhythm and repetition. 

Make time to read together every day. Encourage your child to discuss the different ideas and themes within the books, as this will help them to develop their comprehension. 

  1. Work with your child to develop his or her communication skills. 

Ask plenty of questions, encourage your child to share their ideas and support them to use increasingly rich and complex language. Can they elaborate on what they are telling you, can you give them more complex and descriptive words to use?

  1. Encourage your child to be independent. 

Encourage them to dress themselves, pack their belongings away, look after their own hygiene practices, open their own food (such as yoghurt pots or wrapped sandwiches) and so on. Giving your child these small responsibilities gives them the opportunity to practice and become confident in their own abilities.

  1. Familiarise your child with the school environment and routine. 

Ensure you make the most of school visits and have a number of conversations with your child about what a school day looks like. Back at home, you can visit the school’s website and discuss the photographs of what children are doing, the teachers, and the uniforms. This helps to build familiarity for your child during the transition. 

  1. Teach your child to follow simple instructions.

Even though they likely follow all sorts of instructions both at home and in care, it is worth sitting down with your child and explaining why they need to follow instructions. Run through a few scenarios that they might come across at school. This way, they are prepared for what to do, and understand what consequences they may face if they don’t follow the teacher’s instructions.


It is completely natural for your child to feel scared, overwhelmed or reluctant about their first day of school. No two children will ever react the same, or have the same experiences, so remember to enjoy this exciting milestone and take the day as it comes.