Helping your child get ready for starting or going back to school

Children will be going back to school on 8 March after a long break due to coronavirus. Going back to school after any break can present challenges for children and young people so it’s worth preparing with them.

Here are some tips for getting ready for your child’s first day back at school.

Children in school

Plan and prepare for school with your child

  • Talk to your child about starting/going back to school and what this means.
  • Encourage your child to talk to you about anything they are worrying about.
  • Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Read our advice on getting your child back into a sleep routine before they go back to school.
  • Have a plan for your new morning routine and try this in the run up to schools starting. Make sure there’s time for breakfast, getting dressed and getting out the door.
  • Make sure school bags are packed before the first day. There will be lots to think about on the day, so try and make it less stressful by being prepared.
  • Plan your journey. You can practice this with your child before the first day, so there is one less unknown.
  • Be positive when dropping off your child. If you can, hide your anxieties as your child will pick up on these. Be happy, smile and be enthusiastic. But seek support and reassurance for your own worries.
  • Due to COVID-19, infant schools may not be so “hands on” with children. If your child is young, it might help to buy things like elasticated trousers and skirts and velcro shoes. These are easier for a child to put on themselves, buttons, zips, laces and buckles can be difficult for a child to do independently.
  • Talk to your child’s school and ask them for any information about going to school that they can share with you. They may have videos, or tips on what to expect. You can share any concerns you may have with them so that they are better prepared to support your child when they start.

Worried about your child’s education? Our one-to-one Teacher Talk service is here to help. Ask about any education topic, from school refusal to worries about your child not keeping up. Our volunteer education professionals will listen and offer judgment-free advice. Fill in our short form, and we’ll put you in touch by email, phone or video call. 

Go back

I’m worried about my child going back to school


What is school refusal?


Understanding and managing my child’s behaviour


How can I get my child back into a sleep routine before they go back to school?


Talk to us

Free and confidential live chat with parenting staff. Chat online or request a call back when it’s convenient for you.

Chat icon on mobile phone