Advice for parents and carers

The Department of Education and Training has developed a specific area of their website that provides parents and carers with hints, tips and advice about their child's first year of school. Topics include preparing for school, what to expect during the first weeks of school, what Preps learn, how children learn, healthy eating, the importance of play and tips for dealing with the school holidays. Please visit: Starting Primary School Guide.


You do not need to ‘teach’ your child things before school. However, there are things that your child can practise at home.


Developing independence

  • Opening and closing their lunch box and drink bottle.
  • Identifying what food is for morning tea and lunch.
  • Using the toilet, and washing and drying their hands.
  • Identifying their written name.
  • Taking off and putting on their jumper.
  • Packing and unpacking their bag.

  • Tying shoe laces.

Developing literacy skills

  • Try to make a regular time to read every day with your child.
  • Talk about what you are reading with your child.

  • Try to establish reading as part of your child’s regular after school routine.

  • Model reading. Your child is more likely to read if they see you do it.

  • Play games which help your child become familiar with letter names and sounds.

  • Identify letters and words in your environment.

  • Provide opportunities for your child to practise writing, drawing, colouring and cutting to help develop their fine motor skills.

Developing numeracy skills

  • Practise counting objects in their environment e.g. toys as they are tidying up.

  • Practise writing numbers together to 10.

  • Find and read numbers in their environment e.g. on letterboxes.

  • Name the days of the week. e.g. “On Monday you have swimming.”

  • Look at a calendar and talk about when special events are held.

  • Where possible, involve your child in some basic cooking and talk about the measurements as you go through the recipe.

Developing social skills

  • Sharing and taking turns.

  • Taking care of their own and others’ things.

  • Showing resilience.

  • Making good choices.

  • Following rules and instructions.