Ask SAHM is a place where you can ask our staff & community a question safely & anonymously. Please read our disclaimer.

Anyone here has send child straight to prep without any daycare or kindy?

My child is starting prep next year (Qld). She has never been to day care and is not in kindy. What are your thoughts on that? Is she going to struggle in prep?
If you have send your child straight to prep, how did you prepare them for it?


Got an Answer?

Answers (11)

Neither of my kids went to kindy or daycare. They are both now in highschool and have always done very well academically and have never had any social problems. We always attended playgroup (the lady who ran it was a absolute champion), weekly library and music sessions as well as swimming, dancing, soccer, tumble gym so my kids were well socialised and were use to communicating and following instructions from other adults. I ensured that my kids could write their name, count to 20+, say the alphabet, recognise letters and numbers before they started Prep. I also use to pack them a lunch box when we went out so they were use to openning/ closing and putting a lunchbox away. You know your child, if you think that they will benefit from going to daycare than do it, if not, there are lots of things you can do at home to get them ready for school!

 ^ I think that's fantastic. I also think they're the way they are now is because of the work you put in. I think parents who choose not to do kindy or any prep for school are just kidding themselves. It'd be like throwing them in the deep end before their first swimming lesson
helpful (1) 
 Not everyone is as dedicated as you though. So a broad statement of “no, kids don’t need preschool” isn’t quite true. It should be “kids don’t need preschool if their parents fill the gaps by taking their kids to lots of activities and work with them at home on their skills and knowledge.”
helpful (4) 
 Thank you, sounds great. We do lots of things as well and she is very confident and independent. I do the same with her lunchbox pretty much everyday as we are out a lot. She will be one of the oldest in the class as well so I think she will have advantage in that aspect as well.
helpful (2) 
 Um, I never once made a broad statement that kids shouldn't go to kindy/ preschool! I am no way anti daycare (I am actually childcare trained🤣), I am a big believer in parents doing what is best for their children, their families and their circumstances.

OP you sound like you are doing a great job with your daughter! 🤩

helpful (2) 
helpful (0) 
 I didn’t mean that you yourself had made that statement, just that people may apply it that way. In your situation, you put a lot of effort into getting your children’s educational needs met, but that may not be the case of the majority (as you said, you have training in the EC profession, most probably don’t).
helpful (2) 

I used to work in tertiary education, around the early childhood academics. Early education is critical. Apparently it can have a positive affect all through their schooling.

My DD is at kindy now. She's usually clingy & lacks confidence, but, wow is she progressing! My ASD DS was the same. He went off to prep without a backward glance. Kindy teachers also helped flag his different behaviours to help us start moving towards a diagnosis.

Look, the world won't fall apart if you child doesn't go, but, yes, it's important. Try something like eKindy and once/if they reopen, playgroups.

I thought about doing that with my eldest, who's currently in Prep, but instead decided to send her to kindy last year.

As much as I loved having her at home, I realised that going from being home with me every day to suddenly being in school 5 days per week would be a difficult transition, and not fair on her. I had to help prepare her for that big step, we did a 5 day fortnight (2 days one week, 3 days the next). I thought that kindy would help ensure she learned what she needed to before prep, not just in terms of academics, but also socially; navigating big groups, listening to a teacher, routines, being able to speak up, being able to wait her turn, etc. Prep teachers don't necessarily have the time to teach those foundation behaviours, whereas in kindy the teachers do, and they know they're preparing the kids for prep so they can cover those things. And I think it's different for her to learn that from a teacher as opposed to doing it with me, so again that influenced my decision to send her to kindy.

I am so, SO glad she went to kindy before prep. She had a great time, she learned so much, and she really was ready to start school. Towards the end of the kindy year I could tell she was a bit anxious to start school because she'd never had that kind of transition before (finishing a year of kindy and stating school in a different place), but once school started she was ok.

Personally I recommend kindy before prep :) and the various early childhood teachers I talked to also did too. If you've got any early childhood teachers in your family or friends circle consider reaching out to them and asking if they can tell the difference between prep kids who did and didn't do kindy. Those I asked could definitely tell, and the kids who did kindy had an easier time settling in to school.

 Perfectly said. We also have the time to love your child, and tailor the program to suit individual personalities and learning styles. :-)
helpful (1) 

I’m an early childhood/primary teacher. Try to organise one for her. She is missing out on:
Learning how to take care of herself and own belongings
Navigating social situations
Being away from her emotional support (you) and knowing how to self soothe.
Making connections outside of her family.
Being confident enough and knowing how to ask for help when she needs it.
A whole range of learning through play experiences. Also, there are things that Early Childhood teachers will pick up on that she may need help with that you have never noticed. I don’t see daycare as a necessity, but preschool before formal schooling definitely is!

 Most of what you said should be taught by parents anyways or at least can be taught by parents, and things like being away from mum ect can literally be a maturity thing (not for every child but most children it’s a milestone not a learnt skill)
2 of my kids started at nearly 6 with no kindy, and it went smoothly, they could not have started the year before and happily seperated, they were put in kindy for a term at 4 and cried the entire time, had to be collected after 3 hours.
It was purely a milestone and for most kids that’s all it is, a milestone.
While I think there is good value for many kids (my twins are currently in kindy it’s hardly a necessity.

helpful (6) 
 Well that depends on the type of parent you are and the resources available. If you are very proactive with learning, have a child who is typical for their age and push your child to be independent and do things for themselves and have a fair idea of where they should be developmentally, and take them to lots of different activities where they have an opportunity to socialise independently then all may be fine.
But the vast majority of parents either don’t have time (younger children at home and other responsibilities ) , or don’t have that knowledge, or don’t have access to social opportunities or couldn’t be buggered dedicating a large chunk of time to their child’s early childhood education because they’d rather have a nice relaxed home life (hey, that is what preschool is for after all) and mother their children, not teach them.

helpful (5) 
 There is nothing education wise they need.
They will learn it all in prep.
If they can write and recognise their name, count to ten that will be all they need as a spring board.

And socially can be done anywhere. While my kids all did have kids to play with a large amount of their core skills and values come from how they are taught to interact and treat their siblings.
But still they would go to parks, yes I did have friends with kids, we went to play group.

We get 5 years, 5 years where they are so completely ours, where their mum dad brothers and sisters are their whole world. There is a lot of value and merit in allowing those roots to form without interruption.

The rest will all come.

At the end of prep you can rarely tell the kids who showed up day one without and literacy skills and the ones who’d begun flash cards at home.
And even if you could it’s not a competition so as long as you child learns at prep, it makes no difference if they learnt nothing at 4.

helpful (3) 
 4 is the last year they get where every single thing in their life should be pleasure driven.

4 is often that last year or put adulterated innocence.

And for some kids, kindy is great, other kids actually would benefit from staying close to mumma bear a little while longer and for majority of kids it literally makes no difference either way.

We have to stop generalising and telling parents what all kids need.

The other thing all kids need is love and attention. The rest is entirely subjective to the individual child.
I LOVE my twins kindy, they LOVE kindy. My other 4 did not.
All are doing differently at school according to each individual child and none of it is reflective of kindy or no kindy.
One of my kids was reading comics at 4 and Paul Jennings by 5.
My two kindy kids still can’t write their name without writing d and a back to front.

My point (very long winded) it’s absolutely misguided to say kindy is a necessity

helpful (5) 
 Talking about '5 years' where our kids are 'completely ours' is kind of creepy, because they are not possessions. They are not mini mes to be moulded the same as the parent, they are individuals with unique interests and talents.
Also, you dont suddently stop being your childs parent because they go to school.
Lastly, sending your kids to daycare doensnt interrupt your child forming roots with their parents. Its hilarious that people even come out with rubbish like that.

helpful (5) 
 In context I felt it was obvious but let me elucidate...
“Completely ours” in that free from distractions, free from schedule,free from places to be and people to see on a paid timetable.
A very very very small window of childhood that’s a simple as life can be.

helpful (1) 
 Its not obvious because its not true. Theres not some magic switch that kids have no schedule and no problems and no outside influence that suddenly flicks on when kids start school. If you are keeping your kids in such a bubble Im concerned for you.
helpful (4) 
 ^also missed the point about kindy completely. Kindy isnt about academics, its about school readiness.

helpful (4) 
 Um life absolutly changes when kids go to school haha , well it did for us. I see my kids less, I don’t get to choose what we do that do not do they, their social circle broadens even more often forcing me to be around adults I don’t care for, 5/6 kids start to play a sport in a club so there goes lazy saturdays.... what were you doing before 5 that had them so damn busy ? Lol. School readiness is just a big word people throw around. At the end of the year like someone else said you would have no clue who did kindy and who didn’t.
helpful (2) 
 The point is, not all parents bother to take their kids to activities, teach them to count to 10, or recognise their name....not all parents will realise that their child has a developmental delay, or problems with their social development. Not all parents bother to take their kids for vision, dental and hearing screenings. Those kids then end up with no early intervention and are at significant disadvantage. Maybe if you had taken your kids before term 4 they would have had time to settle and gotten some “real value” out of being there. You have no way of knowing if things could have been better for them, as they didn’t go. Early childhood teachers & preschools have significant value in our society and it is ignorant of you to say that there is no need for learning at that age as they will do it all at prep. You will never admit any of this though, because then you would have to admit that you deprived your kids of a beneficial experience.
helpful (4) 
 I did take them before 4 too, they cried till they threw up and I had to pull out of the new job at the time.

Some of my kids seperated with no issue. Others needed time to be ready. Neither wrong or right.
Infact my hard to seperate kids actually have an incredible judge of character an impecible character to disassociate with people who aren’t good for them, unlike my kids who were happy to go with anyone.

Almost every “negative” trait in childhood has a complimentary character strength that just doesn’t align with what’s “suppose” to happen at that time in their life.

Again. Not always, but generally speaking.

Just like generally speaking kindy makes no difference after week 4 of prep.

helpful (3) 
 Love the ridiculous generalisation that kids who go to kindy are so damn busy. Well if thats the case Im happy my kids were so damn busy at kindy because they loved going. They thrived there, made friends, learned heaps. Some kids really need social contact at that age, it can be really obvious when their older siblings attend school and they miss them.
helpful (1) 
 ^oh what were we doing that we were so damn busy before school. Haha lets see, riding bikes, swimming, painting, playing ball games, dressing up, playing lego, camping, gardening, cooking...... and even better, none of that stuff stopped when they went to school. Going to school doesnt prevent family time. And as for making friends at school, well most kids I know have social contact before school. Playgroup, mothers group, family gatherings, neighbours, swimming lessons etc. Id find it weird if your child had no friends before school. Thats not normal.
helpful (2) 
 AT school there’s no way you do all that stuff as much that’s the point.
I take my kids surfing before school and riding or surfing or beach after school. But instead of the whole day together we get maybe 1hour in the morning at 3 hours in the afternoon.
I’m not talking about busy doing things that are fun and not schedualed 🙄 you did have to be there at a certain time for all that stuff now did you? And you didn’t have your kids away from you for 6 and a half hours 5 days a week.
You were “busy” doing what you wanted to do.
At school it takes away 5 days of being able to do whatever you want.

helpful (2) 
 And it’s no more of a ridiculous generalition (because I never made it you took it wrong lol) that kids who go to kindy are any more school ready then kids who don’t
helpful (0) 
 ^ Wowee. Weird? Not normal? Judge much???
helpful (0) 
 And if you read carefully I never said my kids didn’t have friends, but they were all my friends kids, sometimes I didn’t hang with my friends as much cod our kids didn’t get along some of my best friends our kids were best friends, I actually met my closest friend at the park when our kids played and our kids are still close friends at 10yo.

But at school they have friends who I don’t necessary get along well with the parents, sure I’m nice and cordial I can “get along” with almost anyone but doesn’t mean I enjoy that parents company. And until they get a bit older you kinda have to endure the birthday parties and mingling with people you otherwise wouldn’t because your kids are friends.

helpful (0) 
 Calm down. There's been an overlap of comments. Yeesh
helpful (0) 
 Im a different commenter but its a generalisation that people have 5 days a week to do whatever they want before school. In the real world most people have jobs
helpful (0) 
 I’m a daycare worker, I wouldn’t say most kids do 5 days a week kindy or daycare, some do but it’s certainly not the norm , at least not where I live. Most mums find part time work so kids only do 3 days a week. Even 4 days a week isn’t overly common.
helpful (2) 
 ^Thats correct. Statistically only about 5% of kids do 'fulltime' daycare if you look at the ABS report.
And if kids do daycare, so what? Its playbased fun. My kids loved it.

helpful (0) 

Can I ask why you chose not to send her? I see daycare as optional, but many studies have shown that early childhood learning in the kindergarten years are very important.

 She is very confident and independent. Does fair bit of learning at home plus we do lots of activities with other kids as it is ( dancing, sports etc). She does sleep overs with her cousins and spends days happily away from me. I am just trying to hear out people’s experiences with either and to make best choice for us.
helpful (1) 
 Yes, that’s understandable. Personally, mine will both be going to an ELC for their kinder years. Maybe chat to your Maternal Child Health Nurse and see what they say?
helpful (0) 
 If she is happy being away from you and confident etc, why is this even a question. She will most likely love preschool.... let her go and make friends. Two days a week will be good for her, gets them into the schools routine’, gets them listening to instructions, sitting down to listen, waiting their turn, independent. I don’t see the down side to preschool. The only reason not to send is because of your own wants..... Send her!
helpful (4) 
 You could also go to your local kindergarten and have a chat. A good centre will have a director or teacher who would be more than happy to spend a little time with you and discuss the pros and cons according to your particular needs. Either call or pop in 30 minutes after pick-up.
helpful (0) 

There is a kid in my 4 year olds class who didnt attend kindy or daycare and he is stiiillll crying everyday when he is dropped off and clinging to his mother, just say’n.

 My kids never went to daycare or kindy and never cried at school drop off, just say'n.
helpful (3) 
 Lol mine too, and there’s a kid in my sons class (year 1) who started say car e at 6 months old.... she cried till term three.
Most of the kids who cry have attended kindy because most kidsattend kindy.
Just sayin lol.

helpful (0) 
 ^ Some kids are just a little more sensitive than others
helpful (0) 
 ^sorry, we can't except the above answer because you didn't add 'just say'n'🤣
helpful (0) 
 That's not gonna happen 😂
helpful (0) 
 My son never went to kindy or daycare, straight to prep. He loved it from the very first day. Every time he had to miss a day he wasn’t happy camper. I think after 5 years together he was over me, lol. He was a little bit tired for the first 2 terms of prep. We have done lots of sporting activities, zoos , museums, playgroups etc. before prep.
He is in year one. Still loving it. Few kids in his class who have attended full time daycare and kindy prior prep, still get emotional and are having hard time at school.

helpful (0) 
 As far as learning goes he is flying too. Well above some kids who have been doing daycare/ kindy etc.
helpful (0) 
 ^quite unusual, that.
helpful (0) 
 It’s really not that unusual.
What’s unusual is not going to kindy at all so your comparison pool is small , adding reason. Some might not send to kindy (attachment issues, delays, disabilities) and you’ve got yourself added reason where kindy May have not made any difference.

A parent knows their child.
And school readiness is bullshit lol.
Look at all the kids term 3 and it’s a big ol jumble of having no idea who did what at 4 or 5 years old.

helpful (1) 

Either of mine did the only adjustment was the tiredness
That being said my ones who started older were not really effected by the tiredness (they were nearly 6
My just 5 year old and 4yo (March birthday) struggled with the tiredness.

I wouldn't worry too much, lots of kids will be in the same situation with the new vaccination rules.

 What new rules?
helpful (0) 
 Kids can not attend kindy if they are not vaccinated. As I far as I know, it is already law is almost all Australia?
helpful (0) 
 ^only if it's kindy as part of a daycare centre. Not for kindy at school
helpful (0) 
 In Victoria they must be vaccinated to attend kinder and then also when they start school
helpful (0) 
 In qld they can attend any daycare or kindy but don’t get the rebates
helpful (0) 

IDK but we have to in Victoria it's compulsory before prep to go into kinder

 I’m in vic. Mine all went to kinder but is it really compulsory?
helpful (0) 
 4yr old is. Or so I was told
helpful (0) 

This will be me with my youngest. I had her signed up for this year but then COVID happened and now I don’t want her going for the rest of the year. My mind is simple though, if she doesn’t like prep and she struggles, I will home school.

 I meant to say I had her signed up for kindy/preschool this year.
helpful (0) 

I don’t worry about this at all. I worry more for the poor kids who cry and are in distress and watch their parents walk away from them anyway. I saw it so often when my eldest was in kindy, and then prep and even year 1. The reasoning of ‘they were fine within 5 minutes’ is not good enough for me either. That’s 5 mins of their poor little hearts and minds thinking that the people they trust the most is walking away from them.

 Separation anxiety is completely normal and a important lesson in life
helpful (2) 
 Yes, it's better to get used to it at kindy when there are more staff.
helpful (1) 
 Yes that was always heartbreaking for me seeing kids so upset when their parents were leaving them at kindy. None of my kids cried when I left them at school, and only 1 out of 3 did kindy. None of them ever went to daycare and if family ever babysat them I wouldn't leave if they were upset. I couldn't have handled leaving them at kindy if they were crying. I don't beleive my 1 child that went to kindy has any advantages at all over my 2 kids that did not go to kindy. Neither socially not academically. Yes there's all the things they are "supposed" to learn but I firmly beleive you can't force leaning if they're not ready for it. If a child is upset and feels they've been abandoned by their parents then they're not going to learn much anyway, it just damages the bond they have with their parents. Might be different for others but that's my view.
helpful (0) 
 I’m the same, I never left my kids if they were distressed.
helpful (0) 
 Sounds like a crap kindy. I literally never saw a kid cry with any of my 3 at Kindy, they loved it.
helpful (1) 
 Yep, you’re right. Wait until they are at school so they can disrupt the whole class and make it hard for the teacher with their tears because their Mummy couldn’t cope with seeing them cry..... the whole point is that you need to give them a chance to develop secure relationships with their educators. If you run back every time they cry, all they learn is that they can’t be away from Mum, and all I have to do is cry to get out of any uncomfortable situation (then never be pushed to form new relationships or try out anything that might be scary!). 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️
helpful (3) 
 They went to school just fine no need to wait lol. They just weren’t ready then.
helpful (0) 
 ^yes and likewise all of mine went to kindy (4yo) and didnt cry. If your kids are hysterical maybe look at sending them elsewhere. You wont see it at a good kindy if you take time to introduce them properly to it.
helpful (1)