Australian states & territories have slightly different minimum age cut-off date and name for the first year of school. Our list below refers to the age at which a child is eligible to begin school, not the age at which a child is required to start school. Most states require children to be enrolled at school by the age of six.
If you have any questions about enrollment for your child, contact your local school for more information.
* Private and religious schools may have different minimum age cut-off dates - contact your school for more information.
It is compulsory for children to be enrolled in school from age six.
See more at www.det.act.gov.au
Children can begin compulsory Kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn five on or before 31 July in that year. By law, all children must be enrolled in school by the time they turn six.
See more at www.schools.nsw.edu.au
School is compulsory from the age of six. Children can enter non-compulsory Transition at the start of the school year if they turn five by 30 June that year. To enter Year 1 (compulsory) children must turn six before 30 June in the year they are enrolled.
See more at www.education.nt.gov.au
Queensland offers a year of Prep for children who turn five by 30 June in the year they are enrolled. Prep is not compulsory so compulsory schooling begins with Year 1 when children must be enrolled in the year they will turn six by 30 June.
See more at www.qld.gov.au/education
Children must enroll at school by six years. From 2014, all children will start school on the first day of term one in that year so that every child will have four terms of Reception when they go to school.
If your child:
- turns five before 1 May they will start school on the first day of term one in that year
- turns five on or after 1 May, they will start school on the first day of term one the following year.
See more at www.sa.gov.au
Children must be five by 1 January to be enrolled in Prep, the first year of school. In Tasmania you may enrol your child in non-compulsory Kindergarten if your child turns four on or before 1 January of the year they start.
See more at www.education.tas.gov.au
To start Prep, the first year of primary school, your child needs to turn five by 30 April of that year.
See more at www.education.vic.gov.au
Schooling is compulsory from the beginning of the year a child turns six years and six months of age. Children must be five by 30 June in the same year to attend the first year of school and it's now compulsory for children in WA to enrol in Kindergarten or Pre-Primary programs.
See more at www.det.wa.edu.au
Visit the My School website for more about the schools in your local area.
Discuss First Year Of School (FYOS) with other mums/dads/caregivers on our Essential Kids Forums.
See our page on Australian school term dates and school holidays for 2015, 2016 and 2017.