Preparing children for school in Australia

Save the Children works to ensure vulnerable Australian children have access to early learning activities that help them transition to primary school and support positive connections with education.

A critical part of our work in Australia is to improve access to school in Australia. We help disadvantaged children aged four to five years get ready for school. The Transition to School program supports children who are not accessing mainstream kindergarten or preparatory classes in in Queensland and New South Wales

Why preparing children for school is important

Disadvantaged families often feel disconnected from the wider community, face cultural and language barriers and have limited access to services which can impact on their children’s education and development.

Many families cannot or are unable to actively seek out educational opportunities for their children who are almost of school age. This can make the transition to a school environment both difficult and overwhelming. An introduction to school helps children develop vital skills for their future and establish an on-going positive learning experience.

Save the Children’s Transition to School program

Our Transition to School program is a quality early learning program delivered by trained educators and designed to prepare disadvantaged children and families with the often difficult transition to school.

We provide engaging activities for children that increase their cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being using a range of pedagogical approaches. Children and families are introduced to their local school setting including the school routine, facilities, preparing a lunch box and the classroom environment.

Children and parents have access to a safe and welcoming environment to connect with one another and other families, and develop skills that ensure a seamless transition to school.

In Townsville, Narangba and Caboolture, we provide support to children from Aboriginal and humanitarian migrant backgrounds who are due to start school the following year.

We also engage families in South West Sydney in New South Wales in the 12 months prior to the new school year to ensure families – many who face cultural and language barriers – are encouraged to participate and learn essential school preparedness skills.

How we know we’re helping children prepare for school

Paragraph: Assessments  completed by participants prior to and after the program have shown an improvement in children’s school preparedness and increased awareness of expectations, opportunities and services for parents.

Since the program began in Townsville in 2010, we’ve supported 130 vulnerable children to transition to school the following year. In 2013, we also improved the school preparedness of 281 children and 177 carers in New South Wales. 

Who makes our program possible

Support from The Smith Family through the Australian Government’s Communities for Children program makes it possible to help young children prepare for school in Townsville and Sydney. We are also grateful to the Office of Early Childhood and Care for their commitment to our program in Caboolture and Narangba.

Related Programs

Want to learn more?

    Contact our New South Wales office:

    Suite 205, 410 Elizabeth Street,
    Surry Hills, NSW 2010

    Postal address:
    PO Box 36,
    Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012

    +61 2 9211 8800

    +61 2 9211 8866

    Email us

    Contact our Brisbane office:

    Postal address:
    PO Box 3060,
    South Brisbane, QLD 4101

    +61 7 3199 0500

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    Contact our North Queensland office:

    11 Thuringowa Drive,
    Kirwan, QLD 4817

    Postal address:
    PO Box 951,
    Thuringowa Central, QLD 4817

    +61 7 4773 0400

    +61 7 4723 4071

    Email us