It’s time to end the confusion on when kids should start school!

In NSW children can start school at four-and-a-half-years, however in Tasmania children have to be five years and one month before they can begin.

“The Australian Childcare Alliance is calling for a nationally coordinated approach to educational policy so that a uniform minimum age applies to students starting school, at an age childhood experts agree is a reasonable base level”, reports Paul Mondo, the national president of the Australian Childcare Alliance.

“Taking the onus off parents. It would also empower teachers to more successfully tailor lessons to a wider group of students within a smaller age band.

“Delaying school entry creates an age gap – sometimes up to two years among the children in their first year. This gap persists throughout their schooling life, which has implications for teachers in engaging students with vastly different cognitive and social skills.

“The absence of a nationally consistent school starting age means that funding and programs for the two years before school do not go far enough because they have to cover such wide variances in age and development milestones”, reports SMH.

“A national requirement that states children must be at least five years of age by January 1 in their first year of formal schooling would help narrow the age discrepancy in prep classes and set up students for strong educational outcomes”, says Paul.

Do you agree?

Share your comments below

  • I was talking to my son the other night about my grandson starting kindergarten. He said something about the considering not sending him til he was 6. I didn’t know this was possible, 6 is a bit old for kindy. They’re now discussing next year a school his start year for kindy, he’ll be 5 next year, so that sounds better


  • It was easy for us. I had a September baby so he was smack in the middle of the age group and there was never any question when he would start. Our first teacher interview we were told he was exactly where he should be for his age. So all is good.


  • I didn’t realise there were different rules for different states. I know that when I was a kid, you had to be turning 5 before June 30. Now it’s April 30. Otherwise you’d have to wait until the next year.


  • I think school ages should be Australia wide. It’s so hard if you ever have to move interstate


  • There will still be a gap and it might be in preparedness for school. We all went at 4 about to turn 5 and my sister was 5 when school started but wouldn’t go until 6 under these rules and she would have been climbing the walls trying to get there.


  • We arrived in Australia when eldest 2 kids were 4 and 3yrs old. It was not till April before our stuff arrived and we could find a house to rent and settle in. By then it was too late to enroll my eldest in Kindy, so she started the year after when she was 5 (turning 6 in July). Logically my son started the following year as well when he was 5 (turning 6 in August). Besides this my son was at age 4 still very immature and not school ready. To be honest, they have never faced problems in the interactions with their slightly younger peers. My third child was 4 when she started, but turned the next month 5 and my youngest went first a year to Early Intervention when she was 4yrs old, where she was assessed which educational option would be the best for her. She started Kindy in a support class when she was 5 (turning 6 in November). She may be 5, but functions on a level of a 2-3yr old. It would have been crazy to have started her at age 4 !!


  • Consistency is great as long as there is flexibility. I waited another year to send my daughter as she wasn’t ready and I am so grateful I did as she thrived when she went


  • For some children it’s just good to start a bit later.


  • Yep agree. It should be more consistent nationwide


  • In SA they can start school before their 5th birthday provided they are 5 by a certain date. It is in April – It may be 30th April. I know one child who wasn’t 5 until Anzac Day and he started school at the beginning of the year.


  • Consistency does make a whole lot of sense.


  • It’s also really ard for kids who move interstate later and may be out of synch.


  • I thought there was a national age?


  • It would make kids starting school a lot easier for parents

    • It would also make moving around easier too.


  • Yes, in my idea kids should start school at the same age across the different states and territories in Australia.


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