Starting primary school

The back-to-school period can be an exciting and, at times, stressful time for parents – especially the parents of preps starting school for the first time.

Parents can relax in the knowledge that the Victorian Government is committed to building the Education State, and ensuring that all students have the opportunity at a great education.

The first years are an exciting and engaging time for your child. Building positive relationships and experiences in the early years is important to long-term development, learning and wellbeing.

The more you can help your child to become familiar with the layout of the school and what they need to do before day one, the less overwhelmed they are likely to feel.

To start Prep, the first year of primary school, your child needs to turn five by 30 April of that year. Your child must be at school in the year they turn six, which is the compulsory school-starting age.

For tips on how to prepare your child for starting Prep, see:

Transition to primary school

Starting school is a major milestone for you and your child, marking the start of a new phase of life for you both. A positive start to school leads to better learning and wellbeing outcomes for your child both during the transition and beyond. It helps to support your child’s continuity of learning and development and supports them to feel secure, confident and connected to new people and places.

Transition : A Positive Start to School

The Transition: A Positive Start to School initiative aims to support a positive start to school for all children. A consistent approach has been developed to guide families, early childhood services, outside school hours care services and schools. This will result in a shared understanding between families, early childhood services, OSHC services and schools about what is important for children and their families during this exciting time.

To find information on how to support your child to have a smooth transition to school, see