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THE FACTS – My child is not ready to start prep! What to do!

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Making the decision to delay prep is a big one – make sure you’re working with the right information! We’ve worked closely with ED QLD and consulted with experts – here’s the real deal.

ASK your questions to find out if your child is ready for Prep at our online personal Q&A Facebook forum on Monday 27th August 8pmclick here!

What is the age for starting prep?

Children must be 5 by 30 June in the year they enrol. Check the table below to see when your child can start Prep.

Why delay prep?

Families have lots of different reasons for delaying prep – not the least of which is the feeling that your child just isn’t ready. Your child may be born close to June 30th which would mean, developmentally, they are simply younger than the rest of the cohort.

Your child might need extra support and time to develop social skills before transitioning to ‘big school’. They might have social or emotional difficulties which would be helped if some of the pressure came off. Your kindergarten teachers may have given you indication that there would be benefits to some extra time at kindy. Whatever the reason – if this is a decision that will help your child then it is definitely the right one to make. You are your child’s loudest cheerleader! If you don’t advocate for your child, who will?

Who do I talk to if I want to delay entry to prep?

Meet early and often with your child’s kindergarten teachers. They’re the experts here – their perspectives, observations and professional knowledge is key to understanding what decision to make.

You might want to talk to other parents and family members but be aware that some people can find it difficult to fully understand another child’s needs. You know your child best and you will have a very strong gut feeling if your child isn’t ready for Prep.

What official things do I need to do to delay entry to prep?

Straight from Ed QLD:

“No formal documentation, assessment or approval is required for delaying entry to Prep. Principals do not make decisions on delaying a child’s entry to prep. While some parents may choose to discuss their decision to delay entry with the principal, it is not necessary for them to do so.”

You will need to discuss your child staying at kindergarten for an extra year with your centre leader – this is often referred to as delayed exit from kindergarten. This will be a simple conversation, more like a re-enrolment process, than a formal assessment. This will also involve the Child Care Benefit and Rebate so your centre can pass that information on to the Department of Human Resources. This kind of thing happens a lot – in fact statistics are showing that the number of families choosing to delay exit from kindergarten is increasing. Everyone will understand if your child isn’t ready for prep. It is not an unusual situation.

This recent article in The Conversation outlines why more parents are choosing to delay their children’s entry to Prep.

We will note that we have recieved anecdotal feedback that different schools have different policies regarding how they handle and application for enrolment that may subsequently be delayed. Please talk to your school of choice about your preferences and ask for their policy on this matter. However, we stress, there is no legal requirement for you to provide any professional assessment or documentation.

Starting your child’s education adventure on the right foot

In an ideal world, children should be excited for school. It’s a place of learning, excitement, engagement and wonder. Sometimes delaying prep is the right choice to make if it means that when your child does start they will be capable and enjoy their time rather than dread it. If your child isn’t ready for prep, it’s not the end of the world!

What do other parents think about delayed entry?

In August 2018 we are holding a public forum on Facebook and have four expert panelists to answeryour questions and concerns.

You can join this group NOW and post your question/s here. We regularly post updated information about schooling, particularly about starting Prep in the group (including this article). Join the event to be updated and sign up to our mailing list for regular updates by clicking here. Like us on Facebook to be kept up to date by clicking here

We’ve got a few articles that you might be interested in related to prep…

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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