Starting kindergarten or preschool? Here are six helpful tips!

By Marnie Adams, Contributor @ Kids In Perth | In collaboration with Goodstart Early Learning 16 Sep 2023

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Starting kindergarten or preschool is big so here are some insider tips from Goodstart Early Learning's community of families and educators to help your child transition into their new learning environment.

For some children, this could be their first time separated from parents. Their classmates already in an early learning environment must also adjust to a new room, teachers and routines.

Knowing how to prepare for that first day of kindy can make life easier for children and parents alike. By taking a few simple steps, it can ease anxiety and fears, while also, helping children get their kindergarten or preschool year off to a flying start.

Every child responds differently, however nobody knows your child better than you.

Before we get started, when discussing kindergarten and preschool at Goodstart, they refer to it being the year before primary school.

Here are the top six tips for getting children prepared and excited for this big step in their education.

Organise a play date in the new kindy or preschool room

Your child might already be at the centre and need to transition into the kindergarten or preschool room. In that case, your centre director organises days to play in the kindy or preschool room to get them used to their new space.

For children new to the centre or early learning, it's a good idea to attend a few play dates at the centre.

Centre directors often organise several times for new families and children to join and meet their new friends.

You can arrange individual play dates if this is too much. These sessions help you feel comfortable with the centre and meet other parents. Your child will be busy with activities, playing with other children, getting to know their teacher and learning their way around their new space.

Have conversations with your child about moving up to kindy

Start introducing the idea of going to kindergarten or preschool to your child. Talk to the kindergarten teacher or centre director about what to expect on the first day. In the weeks leading up to their move, use this information to ask leading questions to your child about what they expect and how they're feeling.

Get them excited about it – play-based learning is fun, after all! But try not to overdo it. Some children will still be feeling anxious about this new adventure. Talking about it too much can add to their anxiety and make it seem bigger than it is.

Get something different or new for their new room

It doesn't have to be brand new. Recycled or hand-me-down is better for the planet! Getting a new item that symbolises their progression into kindergarten or preschool helps build excitement. It gives them a feeling of ownership and a sense of achievement. It could be as simple as a new or hand-me-down bag, lunchbox, shoes or hat.

Gallery | What to expect

Image/Video Credit: Goodstart Early Learning, Facebook.

Role play with your child

Your amateur acting skills are well rehearsed by this stage of parenthood, so put them to good use with some role playing of their new daily routine. First, get some inside knowledge from their kindergarten teacher or centre director. Their day will look different, so you could do simple things like getting dressed, packing their bag with a hat and change of clothes, even pretending to make the trip to the centre and putting their personal items in their place.

Get yourself ready for the first day

You want the morning of the first day to be smooth and manageable, so make sure you're organised and ready to go. Children don't like being rushed, especially when nervous or anxious. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and arrive a bit early. The centre director and teacher will be expecting you, and they'll know how to get your child engaged and settled.

Plan your exit strategy

Don't hang around the centre while your child is settling.

Give a warm but short goodbye, tell your child when you'll pick them up, and make a hasty retreat.

While it's tempting to stay and encourage them, this risks more anxiety as your child wonders why today is different and senses something's up.

Call your centre director if you need to during the day to see how your child's going, but not every hour. Don't worry... Everyone (including you!) will be fine.

It's a big day, and that massive hug at pick up will be one for the memory books!

Ask your centre director or teacher if you have any concerns about starting kindergarten or preschool.

They'll help to ensure your child has a great experience and develops a lifelong love of learning.

Learn more about Goodstart Early Learning's approach to early education by visiting their website or find a centre near you to book a tour.

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Goodstart Program | Learn More

The Goodstart Program

Goodstart’s early learning program is based on the Early Years Learning Framework. The Goodstart program is flexible, individual and engaging.

The Early Years Learning Framework

The EYLF defines the principles, practices and outcomes essential to every early learning program. It ensures all children, from birth to five years of age, receive high-quality learning experiences.

The Framework has strong emphasis towards play-based learning and aims to achieve five overall Learning Outcomes:

  • Children have a strong sense of identity.
  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
  • Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
  • Children are confident and involved learners.
  • Children are effective communicators.

Learn more about the NQF by visiting


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Early Learning & Childcare

Goodstart Early Learning's quality early learning programs help children build the social-emotional, language and thinking skills they need to be successful in school and life. Children are encouraged to explore, discover, experience, and above-all have fun.

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Kindergarten and Preschool

Goodstart Early Learning's play-based programs offer a great start for school and the best start in life.

Their kindergarten and preschool programs are designed and delivered by bachelor-qualified teachers.

Giving children the skills and confidence they need to prepare them for school and life. With 660 centres across Australia, you’ll find a Goodstart kindergarten or preschool near your home or work.

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Goodstart at Home

Extend your child’s learning to the home environment.

Goodstart at Home enriches and extend your child’s learning at home through play!

It's a regularly updated online collection of fun and enriching learning activities and experiences for you and your child to discover at home.

Explore some sample learning experiences by clicking the button below.

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It's for children, not for profit

Goodstart was founded on a vision of giving children the best possible start in life through access to quality early learning.
They're Australia's largest provider of early learning and care, and all of our profits are reinvested back into our centres, our programs for children, and our people.

Benefits of Goodstart’s Kindergarten Program:

Working Parents: Goodstart offers long day care, with some centres open from 6:30am to 6:30pm, accommodating the needs of working parents. Unlike school-based kindy, which operates only 2.5 days per week, Goodstart provides more hours of educational development.

Convenience: Goodstart's comprehensive program eliminates the need to arrange separate OSHC services, saving you time and hassle.

Quality Kindy Program: Goodstart's kindy program is led by qualified educators with Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching degrees.

What parents are saying...

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Parent Testimonials

"Everything she is doing, especially her teaching background and professionalism you can really see the kids inspired by what she can do."

Peter - Goodstart dad

"He’s confident (and) curious about the world around him and he’s made a great start with language and numbers."

Kym - Goodstart mum

"Goodstart was the best decision ever."

Vicky - Goodstart mum

Hints & Tips

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Fees & Rebates

Goodstart tries to keep costs as low as possible so that all children have access to high-quality early learning.

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Calculator | Out of pocket expense?

Use the Childcare Subsidy Calculator below to estimate your out of pocket expenses.

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Careers | Why work at Goodstart?

At Goodstart Early Learning, find a job that changes lives, and a place that works for you.

If you’re looking to work for an organisation with an inspiring purpose, offers a flexible and family-friendly work environment, encourages personal development then Goodstart Early Learning might just be the place for you!


Qualified Educator roles

Passionate about giving children the best possible start in life?

Looking for a place that will invest in your career development and support you to enjoy life outside work?

Does this sound like your purpose? Click the button below to learn more about not only Educator roles but much more if you're to pursue a career journey with Goodstart Early Learning!

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