Listen to this story being read by Laura Jackel, here.
Speaking at a breakfast event this week, NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told guests she had "a goal" to raise the age children start primary school from five to six.
While my youngest son Leo started school at age four and 11 months, I think her idea has merit.
Mitchell's statement comes less than two months after a major educational reform announcement by the state governments of New South Wales and Victoria on creating an extra year of pre-kindergarten or pre-prep, that will be freely available for all children.
Watch: Mia Freedman explains why our school holiday system is broken. Post continues below.
According to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald, Mitchell said she hoped that by increasing the school starting age to six, it would reduce the big age gaps and ability levels that teachers currently deal with in classrooms around the state.
The addition of the free year of pre-kindergarten would also help to deal with exorbitant child care costs that can cause parents to send children to school as early as possible.
"A lot of parents will send their children early because they can, and overwhelmingly it’s not because they’re so bright and ready to go. It’s because it means they don’t have the extra cost of early childhood," Mitchell said.
"This will be an opportunity to recalibrate that, in that you start kindergarten the year you turn six and pre-kindergarten the year you turn five."
While we 'chose' to send Leo to school at age four, it wasn't an easy choice. But it would have been easier if like Mitchell says, we 'recalibrate' the whole system.
In the UK where I grew up, there is a fixed age for children to start their first 'reception' year of school.
There is no debate about when and if you send your children to school, as you must send them to school in the year they turn five. There will of course always be an age gap depending on when your child is born, but a fixed starting date evens out the larger disparity between age, income, and ability.
But unlike my British friends, as a parent of two boys aged 11 and five in NSW, my husband and I spoke at length about when to send our kids to school and our boys' birth months, personality types, and ability levels factored into our decision.