Are you ready to start school?

Getting ready to start school can be a big step for both you and your child, whether or not they've been going to a nursery or playgroup.

For parents in England and Wales, the deadline for submitting an application for Reception Year admissions is in January* each year.


Preparing for school 

You’ll have so much to think about in the run-up to the first day of school in September! Here are my three top tips:


Establish a routine - This includes getting dressed, doing the school run, getting to know the school grounds and getting used to being apart from your child. The more you practice a routine, the easier it will be when term begins!


Keep your paperwork - Keep all your correspondence with the school and local council filed together, and mark important dates on your calendar. This will come in handy for remembering school holidays and procedures.


Organise childcare - Your child may have access to school-run activities. ‘Wrap around’ care may also help you to cover the gap between the beginning and end of your working day and the school day. With 14 weeks of school holidays each year, you can use a variety of child-minders, holiday clubs and activity holiday providers. You can usually use childcare vouchers to pay for all of these!

A parent’s experience

For our latest video, one parent shared her experience of preparing her daughter for school with us. You can watch the video on our YouTube channel.

If you have a child in school, we’d love to hear what the process was like for you- why not let us know in the comments section?


Rising childcare costs

The rising cost of childcare is a factor in the recent Government consultation on childcare vouchers, and I’ll be keeping you up to date with its progress.

According to Family and Childcare Trust research, parents are paying nearly £4,000 per year for two children to be looked after before and after school! What’s more, childcare in the school holidays can account for almost 20% of your wages during those weeks.

To cover your working hours, extra-curricular activities can help to extend the school day. Our Parent Survey in 2013 revealed that of the parents whose children do an extra-curricular activity, 51% don’t use vouchers to pay for it, and haven’t checked if their provider accepts them! Have you?

Good luck with getting your child into your preferred school – if you’re in England and Wales you should get your allocation confirmation in April*.

With kind regards



*Find out more about admissions in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland