Healthy Early Years
A parent’s guide from birth to five
School readiness

School readiness

Is my child ready for school?

The time your child has spent at their nursery or pre-school or with their childminder has already helped with their basic social and emotional skills. The phrase ‘school readiness’ seems to be cropping up everywhere these days. The problem is there is no clear definition of what it really means so it can be difficult for parents to know what their child will be expected to know and do. We do know that a great start to a child’s early years provides them with a foundation for school. This will ensure they develop the confidence and personal skills that mean they are ready to learn and achieve their own full potential. Free early education is available for eligible two, three and four year olds in Calderdale. If you are looking for a childcare setting in Calderdale visit

All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework

The key areas are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

  • Physical Development.

  • Communication and Language.

If you want to find out more about the Early Years Foundation Stage, you may also have heard it called EYFS, visit

If you are worried about aspects of your child’s development chat to your local Children’s Centre, childcare setting or your health visitor.


Teacher’s tip

One helpful pre-school activity that parents can practice is giving their children the opportunity to listen to and learn language through sharing stories together. One of the best ways to prepare children for school is to read to them. Not only does story reading offer a one-to-one quiet time, it helps develop children's listening and language skills.

If you want to improve reading skills, there are lots of opportunities. There are adult learning courses, find out more from your local Children’s Centre.

Visit the library regularly with your child to borrow new books and old favourites to share at home.

Basic skills like toilet training, communication skills, being able to understand and follow simple tasks, taking turns and having some social skills all prepare a child to be ready for learning. Teachers and classroom assistants are then freed up to teach rather than spend time toileting, feeding children and helping them with the most basic social skills.

How can I get my child school ready?

  • Attend playgroups and use your free child nursery place to help them get used to other children and group play.

  • Help them understand how to follow simple tasks.

  • Help them to answer to their name.

  • Encourage them to share and understand turn-taking.

  • Support them to be toilet trained. Find out more about how and when to start potty training at

Portage and Early Years Support - 01422 392579

This home-based service provides support to ensure that the youngest children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) get the extra educational support they need. Provides support to children in their home or at their early years provider.


Free early education is available for eligible two, three and four years olds in Calderdale. 01422 392576


This scheme allows children to receive free part time early years education from the term after their second or third birthday.


To check your entitlements you can complete an online check at: ems.calderdale.