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Helpful tips to get children ready to start school

Published Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Childcare, health and education professionals from across the city have put together five top tips to help make sure children who are starting school for the first time in September – and their parents and carers – are ready.

Postcards with the top tips on will be shared with all ‘new starters’ by early years settings and schools ahead of the summer break.

More suggestions about to help children with each of the tips are available at Starting school.

Maxine Squire, City of York Council’s Assistant Director for Education and Skills, explained:

We know it’s been a difficult year with many children having had disruptions to their normal routine as a result of the covid pandemic. So it’s really natural for parents and carers to have some concerns about how well their child will take to starting school. Most children settle in to a new routine very quickly, but we hope that our five top tips will help to point parents towards key areas of development that they might be able to help their child with.”

Five top tips:

  1. Get your child used to dressing and undressing themselves
  2. Teach your child how to go to the toilet on their own, including sorting out their clothing, wiping and handwashing afterwards
  3. Encourage your child to use a knife and fork at mealtimes
  4. Encourage your child to sit and listen to a story and talk about the book for a few minutes at a time.
  5. Help your child learn to take turns and follow simple instructions

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, the council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “As a grandparent myself, I well remember my own children and grandchildren starting school - I know that there is often a real mix of emotions when a child starts going to school for the first time. I hope that these five top tips go some way to reassuring parents and carers, helping to make the transition to full time schooling a smooth one.”

Parents can be reassured that there’s no need to worry if their child can’t do all the things on the list yet - there’s time to work on these points and plenty of help at hand.

The council’s Healthy Child Service is able to offer advice on a wide range of issues, including toileting. They can be contacted on 01904 555475 or by emailing or visit Starting school for more advice