The Preparatory (Prep) Year is the first year of full-time schooling. Prep is offered in all Diocesan primary schools to families seeking to commence their child’s schooling in the Catholic tradition.
From 2017, it will be compulsory for all Queensland children to undertake Prep, prior to commencing Year 1. To minimise disruption to schools and families, the new requirement will not apply to children already enrolled in Year 1 for 2017.
The changes have been made by the Queensland Government to establish the importance of Prep as the first year of schooling.
While Prep is now compulsory, there are some exceptions including circumstances where:
- the child has undertaken education in another jurisdiction that is equivalent to Prep;
- the child was registered for home education in the year prior to enrolment in a state or non-state school; or
- the principal is satisfied the child is ready to be enrolled in Year 1 taking into account the child’s attributes.
To enrol in Prep, children must be aged five years by 30 June in the year of proposed attendance.
When can they start?
Child’s Birth Date
Eligible for Prep Year in
|1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012||2017|
|1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013||2018|
|1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014||2019|
|1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015||2020|
Is there Early Entry to Prep?
An amendment to the Education Act has allowed for the possibility of early entry for some students who will turn five by July 31st in the year they are in Prep, however that entry is conditional on the principal also being satisfied that they are ready for schooling in terms of:
- aptitude and ability; and
- social and emotional competence; and
- physical development; and
- level of knowledge and understanding
This is not a change for all children born in July and it is certainly not compulsory to send your child to Prep if he or she turns five during July.
Early entry into Prep is allowable for children on transfer across Australia and internationally. Children on transfer who are younger than the age prescribed for the Preparatory Year (5 by 30 June) may only be enrolled in Prep if the child:
- Has commenced education in another State or country that is equivalent to the Preparatory Year
- Is ready for education in the Preparatory Year, having regard to the child’s attributes.
No other Early Entry into Prep is allowable under Education Act age entry regulations.
What should I do if I think my child isn’t ready to start Prep?
Most parents enrol their child in Prep at the Prep-eligible age – in the year they turn five by 30 June. However, parents still retain flexibility to enrol their child in Prep the following year, in the year they turn six by 30 June, giving consideration to the child’s developmental, behavioural and emotional readiness for schooling. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s readiness for Prep, speak with your child’s Kindergarten teacher or the Principal of the school where you plan to enrol your child for Prep.
For further information about enrolling your child in Prep contact your nearest Catholic school, or Catholic Education Services.