Being school-ready


Whether you're a parent whose child is about to start at school, or a childcare professional, supporting a family to take this next big step, we've got information, support and reassurance to share.

In 2013, we published a report into what childcarers, teachers, parents and children felt "being school ready" really means. The conclusion was that children should have a curiosity about the world and a desire to learn.

New research from PACEY shows that almost three quarters (71%) of parents were anxious about their child starting school for the first time in September,  with close to half of parents (48%) more anxious than their child about starting school.

Here's what others have said about our resources on Twitter:


The start of a new school term is always exciting - but when it's the transition into "big school" - your child's very first school term, it can feel a little daunting.

We've pulled together some key resources to help you and your child prepare for this new adventure.


If you're a professional childcarer, chances are you've helped send off dozens of little ones to their first days at school. As a childcarer, you're in a great position to not only calm the anxiety that many parents feel at this time, but also to help them prepare with their children to make the most of the first weeks at school and to help create a solid foundation for their future.


My favourite thing about school is...

Factsheets for parents

These factsheets are to help you support your child get ready for school. It's not about the RAW (reading, arithmetic and writing) skills - rather helping children be curious, confident and ready to learn. Download the factsheets by clicking the links below.

We've also shared our top tips for parents over at Netmums.

Getting ready for school

Download our free guide on preparing your child for school for some great tips and hints on helping the next few weeks go smoothly.

You can also download this colourful poster (left) full of top tips.

Dressing to impress

Colouring sheets - ready for schoolCreate a self-portrait of your child all dressed and ready for school. This free downloadable activity sheet not builds excitement for wearing school uniform, but also helps strengthen children's fine motor skills, too.

Download the activity sheet.

See my school



School ready products

We've got some great products in the PACEY shop that will help children prepare for school including:

Magnetic countdown calendar

A colourful, educational magnetic countdown calendar great to help children visualise their journey to starting school. 

From £12.99

Find out more

Magnetic calendar

This product is a great way to help children to learn to keep track of dates and seasons. A lovely addition to your childcare setting that children will enjoy!

From £11.99


Find out more

Hanging fabric calendar

A brilliant, fun and vibrant room decoration as well as an exciting daily activity, available in both English and Welsh.

From £22.99


Find out more

Creative ideas and Craft ideas books

Filled with inspirational activities and great indoor and outdoor fun get your Creative ideas and Craft ideas books here.



Achievement stickers

Want to show the children in your care praise and reward in a fun and colourful way? How about these engaging achievement stickers now available from the PACEY shop?

Find out more

New-school diary


We've asked two of our registered childminder members to record the activities they are doing during the last few weeks of the summer holidays. Sue in Cambridgeshire and Georgina in Hampshire are both caring for children about to leave their childcare setting to start school. We're following them to see how childcare professionals, parents and teachers are all working together to support children starting school.

Expert opinion and advice

Penny Tassoni is a well-respected early years expert who has written a number of books on child development. She is also president of PACEY. In these videos, she explores what being school ready means for children, and how practitioners and parents can support this time.

Watch the video for parents here:

Watch the video for childcare professionals here:

Resources for childcarers

If you're caring for children, we've got loads of resources to help you support parents and children through this transition to school. Check out our collection of school-ready specific content in our MyPACEY members' area (log-in required). Not yet a member of PACEY? Join us now.

School readiness blogs


Starting school: a developmental milestone for children and parents - A recent survey for PACEY found that the majority of parents (71%) are anxious about their child starting school. Here clinical psychologist Dr Virginia Lumsden explores what parents are anxious about, parents' versus child's anxiety and how you can show support in this transition.

Read this fantastic blog from Book Trust that explores what school readiness really means for parents and childcare professionals including the social and emotionall skills they need.

Check out this must-read blog from I CAN that talks about how to support parents and children with the transition to school. 

The big handover from MumPlusBusiness  - sending your child into Reception can feel like saying “goodbye” to an old life and “hello” to a whole new set of carers and friends. Here, mum and Director of Mum Plus Business Esther Radnor explains how professionals helped her little boy make a great start in Reception.