At what age a child starts its schooling is different in every state of Australia. Here's how to work out what year your child will enter into the Queensland education system.
Your child's date of birth will determine when they enter the school system. The child needs to be 5-years old before the State's cut-off date to start the school year in January of that year. For the Gold Coast, and all of Queensland, the cut-off date is the 30th of June.
So for example, if your child turns 5 on the 30th of May, then they would start the school year in January in the year that they turn 5, so for the first five months your child will be 4 years old when they're in their first year of school.
School-ready age cut-off dates across Australia
It is important to note that the age guidelines are the minimum age at which a child can start school. Parents can decide to delay when the child starts school if the child is born between January and the cut-off date. If they're born after the cut-off date then you have no choice as to when your child starts its first year of school.
Moving Interstate mid-way through your child's schooling
So what happens when you move states mid-way through your child's schooling? Well, the same cut-off dates will apply throughout a child's school-age years. Which can mean that your child may be held back (compulsory) or may be progressed (not compulsory) a year, depending on what state you're moving from and to.
For example; if your child was born on 15 July 2015 they could have started their first year at school in January 2020 if they lived in NSW. Then if they move to Queensland at any point during their schooling, they will be set-back by a year, because the cut-off date in Queensland is 30 June (compared to 31 July in NSW).
The opposite example; if your child was born on 15 January 2015 in Tasmania, they would've only started their first year at school in January 2021. When moving to the Gold Coast, you could technically skip a year. But I can't imagine many scenarios in which this would be desirable.
So realistically, only if you move from NSW and your child is born between 1 July and 31 July plus you chose to start your child early (instead of holding them back when they started kindy in NSW), may it happen that your child will be held back a year. In all other instances, moving from any other state to the Gold Coast, your child will be able to transition to the same school year.
What is the first year of school called in Queensland?
On the Gold Coast, in Queensland the first year a child attends school is called Prep, this is the same in Victoria and Tasmania.
In NSW the first year is called Kindergarten or Kindy, in Western Australia it’s Pre-Primary, in South Australia it’s referred to as Reception while in the NT and ACT it’s known as Transition.