And yet everyone seems to have an opinion…
Since the start of the year I have been engaged in a continuous conversation of should she/ shouldn’t she?
A back-and-forth debate.
Is-she-ready? Or should-she-wait?
It’s been an ongoing analysis of the same dilemma thousands of parents with children born in the first six (or four depending on where you live) months of the year face each and every year throughout Australia.
The question of whether to send their child to school the next year or wait.
My daughter is one of those children with a birthday in the grey area. She could go next year and be a little on the younger side, or wait till the following year and be on the older side.
It’s not a new dilemma but an important one for our family all the same.
But what’s surprised me as we puzzle it out is it seems to be a dilemma that’s not just important for us, but for other people as well – people not in my family, people with no interest whatsoever in my daughter but who seem to care A LOT about our decision.
Like many parenting topics the age to start your child at school debate is one that is bound to bring out strong opinions and it’s hitting the news again this week.
Just a few days ago an expert called for a uniform starting age for students across the country.
In Australia, the system of starting school varies from state to state, with some requiring children be four and turn five by April 30, others June or July. In Tasmania (the most sensible in my opinion) your child must be aged five on January 1 to start school that year.
In states like NSW this grey area means children 18 months apart can be in the same year. Faced with this situation, one in six children are now being held back from starting school.
It’s not a new debate. For years experts have been asking for a national starting date, with a smaller age range….