Is your child ready to start school next year?

A child psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist and teacher are joining forces next month to present a free seminar for parents titled How to help your child make a successful start to school

ready for schoolEducational and Developmental Psychologist Karen Spitzer has many years of experience in private practice and currently works as a District Guidance Officer with the NSW Department of Education. She says that starting school is an important step in children’s lives.

“By law, all children in NSW must be enrolled in school by their sixth birthday. However, for many parents, the decision to send a child to school is based on more than their chronological age.”

“At the free seminar, I will share ideas about how parents can build their child’s social and emotional maturity in time for a confident start to school.”

Maja Zubic, is a paediatric speech pathologist and says that age appropriate language and communication skills are important for children who are about to commence formal schooling.

“These days, skills like reading and spelling are taught in Kindergarten. Children need to have well developed receptive and expressive language skills so that they can listen, learn and identify sounds in order to begin their journey to early literacy.”

“My focus during the seminar will be on recommending activities that parents can do at home to prepare their child for the demands of the school classroom and playground.”

Occupational Therapist Katrina Grimes has worked in schools for many years and helps children to develop fine motor skills, handwriting, concentration and coordination. She says that at this time in the year, many parents seek her advice about their child’s school readiness.

“Kids’ physical skills don’t just affect their handwriting, but also their attention and ability to join in games in the playground. Research suggests that a child’s coordination skills often play a big part in the development of their self esteem, so it’s important for families to ensure that their child’s motor coordination skills are developing appropriately before they start school.”

Teacher, Sonja Walker, says that the aim of the free seminar is to help parents make informed choices for their children.

“There is more to a child’s school readiness that learning ABC and 123. Parents and teachers want children to thrive and not just cope when they start school, and with kindergarten orientation days just around the corner, this popular program is one that will give parents practical ideas and professional resources that could really benefit their child.”


How to help your child make a successful start to school is part of Kids First Children’s Services’ free Community Service program. The two hour seminar will take place on Wednesday 13 August at 7.30pm at the President’s Lounge, Brookvale Oval. For more information call 9938 5419. Free on-line bookings can be made at

Author: Laurice Klaire

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