School readiness

Early years information to help your child become ready for school.

school ready children early years

Ready for school?

In Leicestershire we believe that every child deserves to have the best possible start to school life.

Families, early years providers (childminders/ nurseries/pre-schools) 0-5 services and schools all have a shared responsibility to ensure that the first steps of a child’s journey through school are successful.

Starting school can be a very exciting time but it can also be challenging for some children. Small steps make a big difference and families can help to prepare their child for school.

Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE)

Children are strongly encouraged to attend early years provision (childminder/nursery/pre-school) and take up their Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) so that they can gain the learning and well-being benefits of early education.

Don’t forget that your child is entitled to free early education funding – 15 hours for all 3- and 4-year old children (and some 2-year olds). Some working parents may be eligible for 30 hours. Check if you qualify.

See Funded childcare places for more information.

Early years providers are following government COVID guidance to ensure the safety of children in their care and will be happy to talk to you about this. Settings will use age appropriate ways to help children learn about keeping themselves safe, including regular hand washing and using a tissue.

Talking about starting school

Getting your child ready for school is a journey you’ve been preparing for since their birth. We know starting school can be a very exciting time, but it can bring some challenges too. We hope this Leicestershire video, “Talking about starting school”, will help your family on this journey.


If you’re unsure or concerned about your child’s learning and development, talk to a health professional, or speak to your child’s nursery, pre-school or childminder.

The school your child is due to start will usually contact you once your child’s place is confirmed.

You may be offered a visit or digital tour so that your child can view their prospective school.

If you have any concerns make sure you contact the school before your child starts to talk these through.

Further reading

My first 1001 days

What to expect when guidance to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage

Leicestershire Children and Families Partnership is working with early years providers, schools and 0-5 services to promote a shared view of school readiness across Leicestershire 

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For support for children with additional needs, please see Early years and SEND.