So Your Little One is Starting School. Are They (and You) Ready?

Is your little one starting school this year? Wondering are they (and you!) ready? Here are a few things you can do to put your mind at ease, and send them off on their first day, knowing you have made the right decision.

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So your little baby is off to school, terrifying right? Yup, for you anyhow! They, for the most part, are thrilled to be heading to “Big School”!

But sometimes there are niggles that we, as parents, have around this momentous stage in their lives. Are they ready? Will they be okay? Should they stay at playschool for another year? Will they make friends? Will they be able to sit still?

There is no one “thing” that allows us to assess our child’s readiness for school but there are a few things you can do to put your mind at ease.

You may also like this First Day of School – Poem for Parents & 14 Ways To Help Your Child Settle At School

Take this Quick Test

This quick test can help you determine if your child is almost ready for school, Just answer Yes or No to the following questions:

  • 8 Craft Ideas for Kids to amuse preschoolersCan your child go to the toilet alone?
  • Does your child have friends?
  • Can your child stay at a task for longer than 5 minutes?
  • Does your child know how to count to 10?
  • Do they know most of their colours and ABCs?
  • Can they hold a pencil and use a scissors?

If you answered yes to most of these questions then your little person is nearly there!

You may also like 20 Tips for Your Child Starting School & Tips for Starting School with Allergies

Any Concerns about Development?

Do you have a concern about your child’s development or do they have additional needs?

If so, you will need to speak to your child’s new school to bring them up to speed on your child, remember there are lots of children starting so unless you highlight a need it may not be picked up immediately.

Unsure if your child has additional needs?

Speak to your child’s Principal about your concern. In Ireland the school can organise to have your child assessed through the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), or you can arrange for a private educational psychological assessment for which you would have to pay.

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Practical Tips Before They Start

As parents, there are also some practical things you can do to help prepare your little ones for their big day.

  1. artistic-pencils_school_2070_640Make sure you order your books early and let your children be involved in the wrapping or labelling of the books so that they have ownership.
  2. Involve your child in the choosing of their school bag, pencil case, pencils and colouring/art equipment wherever possible.
  3. Bring your child to see their school, drive past or walk to it to build the sense of excitement.
  4. And last but not least…..
    REMEMBER, you are the barometer for your child. They will look to see how you are reacting to a new situation to see how they should react…, BIG SMILES, POSITIVITY, BUILD THE EXCITEMENT, TALK ABOUT SCHOOL, GET BOOKS FROM THE LIBRARY and BREATHE (they will be okay – I promise!)

You may find these checklists helpful – School Supplies & Be Ready for Back to School

So Your Little One is Starting School.

You may also like these 10 Back to School Favourites to get the Kids Organised

Over to you! Any tips you found useful for helping your little one start school? Let us know in the comments below.

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Hannah Wrixon has been involved in the childcare sector for almost 20 years and is a parent of three (and she is still relatively sane)! Hannah successfully ran a childcare facility for a number of years and now runs Last Minute Minders, Ireland's No 1 Childcare solutions company. Can be contacted at