Choosing the Right Kindy/School for Your Child

I recently called out to my lovely Facebook family if anyone had a question or a blog post idea - and fellow Adelaidan blogger and mummy to Miss L (same age as my Miss M) Beth from Almost Posh asked for tips and advice on choosing a kindy or school for your child. Thanks for the idea Beth - I'll do my best to give you my thoughts.

First of all - you might begin this decision making progress with public vs private, including primary/high school. I teach at an R-12 private school and this is what we're looking for for Miss M. Hubby makes a really valid point that it may be well and good for you to plan to send your child to the lovely local public primary school, followed by a private high school - but by the end of Year 7, your child will have strong friendships (and opinions on where they want to go) and it can be quite difficult to make a change. However, I'm not saying this will be the case for every child, it's just something to consider. If you're thinking public all the way through - many children from the primary school will go along with your child to the same local high school so they're sure to still be with some friends.

Speaking of friendships, it's always good to find out which kindy 'feeds' the school you're thinking of and plan to send your child there. It will make the world of difference on their first day of Reception/Prep if they have some familiar faces. Some private schools offer an ELC or Preschool so this can be another great option.

Private or public schooling isn't always a question of money for families (although it is probably the main factor), type of religion is another factor, and it's important to consider your individual child as well.

Next I guess you'd be thinking location, if you're going public you'll be zoned for a particular school. If you're going private then it's really a question of how far are you willing to drive, or are you willing to move house to be closer to particular school you want. This is the dilemma that we are having at the moment - send Miss M to my current school (with me) which is a half an hour drive (don't forget this is not only for school days but extra curricula, weekend sport, birthday parties, friends etc...), or our other option is moving house closer to another R-12 school we like, enjoying the lifestyle of walking to school and being part of the local community.

Anyway, let's talk about the school itself. Have a look on their website and see if they offer an Open Day or parent tours and go along to have a look. You might have a chance to talk to the Principal, a member of leadership staff, some teachers, existing parents or students themselves. Here's some questions you may consider asking

  • Class sizes (I think this is a really important one - the less children the more focus the teacher can give to each child - although this often also drives up the cost)
  • Particular areas of curriculum focus (eg do they use Jolly Phonics in the early years, is their approach to teaching Number hands on? etc).
  • What additional speciality subjects do they offer? (eg languages, music etc)
Keep in mind also that an Open Day is carefully planned and prepared for to showcase the school in the best light. A parent tour may be any time during a regular school day and the teacher may not even be expecting a group to pop into their classroom (this has happened to me several times while I've been teaching) - so this gives you a true representation of a regular school day. 

It may also be useful to check out the school's NAPLAN scores on the My School website. Generally speaking the more green you see, the higher above average the school's results are. Just keep in mind this is one snap shot of a few tests taken during one week of the school year - it's just a small piece of the picture of the whole school. 

And a just one final thought - think about the general vibe you get from the school. Is it welcoming? Friendly? Do you feel comfortable? Are the children smiling? Do they seem to be enjoying what their doing? Ultimately school should be a fun place where the teacher's make learning enjoyable.

I hope that sharing my thoughts has helped you if you are in the process of making this big decision for your family. If you have any questions feel free to comment below or drop me an email at



  1. Thanks so much for this, Lauren. Some good tips here. I have in mind that I'll send Miss L to the school her older cousins currently attend (and I know it has an attached kindy) as I think that will be of benefit but I do want to make sure it's best for her as well and that the school itself is nice, well-funded and a good learning environment.

    1. Sounds great Beth - especially since you'll already know so much about the school and there'll be some familiar faces. I'm curious to know which school it is ;) ?!?


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