Supporting Children Starting School

Starting School: Supporting Children With Disabilities or Developmental Delays to Have a Successful Start To School

Transitioning to school is a major milestone for all children and families. Understandably, many families of children with disabilities or developmental delays report feeling anxious, worried and daunted about their child starting school. Early planning and accessing the right support can help make the transition as smooth and easy as possible for your child.

Getting Started

It is vitally important that families are ready for their child to start school. When a child has additional needs, planning is especially important. The ECIA has a useful checklist[1] of what to think about in the year leading up to your child attending school. Things to consider when planning include:

  • When to start your child at school
  • The school options available
  • Class types in NSW public schools
  • Application and enrolment process
  • Activities to help prepare your child for school

The above factors will be influenced by your child’s personality, learning styles, learning needs and interests. It can help to discuss these factors with someone who knows your child well and has an understanding of the school system such as an early intervention specialist.

EarlyEd can support families in a range of ways to help you get started. Through working with your child and family, EarlyEd can suggest schools you may wish to consider in your local area, or attend meetings with schools to provide another pair of eyes and ears to help you decide on the right school environment for your child. We can also work with you and your chosen school to work out what is needed for your child to be able to fully participate in all environments and programs that your child’s school may offer.

EarlyEd delivers free school options information meetings regularly throughout the year. Our parent group sessions as part of our Transition to School programs are also designed to provide information and support on a range of relevant topics to ensure that you feel confident and ready to help your child have a happy and positive start to school.

Helping your child prepare for school – Transition to School programs

There are a wide range of specific activities that can help prepare your child for school. School readiness groups such as EarlyEd’s Transition to School program aim to assist your child to develop the necessary skills to participate in a school environment. These include, letting people know what they need, looking after their belongings,  self-help skills like toileting, eating lunch, sharing and taking turns, making friends, playing in the playground, following routines and doing school work.

The skills that your child learns can be transferred to all other environments including after school care, sporting clubs and programs such as milo cricket or soccer and community programs such as dance or scouts.

Establishing communication and positive relationships between the people involved with your child (such as current preschool teachers and future school teachers) is another important part of the transition process. You will develop a team who will support your child in having a successful transition to school.

Through our Transition to School program, we work together with your child, family and wider community to ensure a positive start to school and to equip both your child and family with the skills and strategies that will benefit them in the long-term.

Ongoing support for school aged children

Transitioning does not stop on the first day of school.  At EarlyEd, we continue to work collaboratively with your family and school to ensure that staff have the strategies in place that are required, and that your child receives the support they need to have a positive and inclusive education experience.  We work with schools to provide a range of services including collaborative planning with teachers to provide support for students, training and workshops for staff teams, family support, coaching, transition planning and resource development.

FREE School Options Information Meetings

Join EarlyEd at our upcoming school options information evenings taking place at North Sydney and Pendle Hill. Click on your nearest location for full event details.

Further Support

Early Childhood Intervention Australia provides a comprehensive Transition to School resource[2] for families of children with disabilities or delays in their development, designed to make the process as smooth and positive as possible.

To find out more about EarlyEd’s Transition to School programs and support available for your child, contact your nearest office today.



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