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

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

Help your child look forward to school

  • Talk to your child about starting school or going back to school and what this means.
  • Encourage them 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.
  • Plan your journey. You can practise this with your child before the first day, so there’s one less unknown.

Plan your child's first day at 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.
  • Pack school bags in advance. There will be lots to think about on the day, so try and make it less stressful by being prepared.
  • 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.
  • Aim to be positive when dropping off your child, even if you’re not feeling your best. If you can, hide any worries as your child will pick up on these. Smile and be enthusiastic.
  • Think about what you will do if your child ends up feeling any separation anxiety. Read our advice to help.
Go back

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