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

Starting school or going back after a break can feel difficult for children and young people. As a parent or carer, you can help them prepare.

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 speak to you about anything they’re 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.

Plan your child's first day at school

Make a plan for your new morning routine and try this in the run up to school starting. Make sure there’s time for breakfast, getting dressed and getting out the door.

  • Pack school bags in advance. It’s one less thing to think about on the day.
  • Talk to the teacher about any concerns so they’re better prepared to support your child. They may also have videos or tips on what to expect that you can share with your child.
  • 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.
  • Think about what you will do if your child ends up feeling separation anxiety. Read our advice to help.

If your child doesn't want to go to school

Some children may feel anxious or worried about going to school. They may even resist going. We have some advice on how to help if your child feels worried. Or what to do if your child is refusing to go to school.


Go back

I’m worried about my child going back to school


How do I deal with school refusal?


Understanding and managing my child’s behaviour


What can I do if my child is being violent?


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