School readiness

Changes to services due to coronavirus

Unfortunately, since social distancing guidelines were introduced, we have been unable to deliver our usual timetable of school readiness activities.

We understand that many parents and carers that have children due to start school this coming September may have increased feelings of anxiety and concerns during these challenging times.

That’s why we will be working with Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service (ECFWS) and other partners to bring you free online activities and information that can help you to support your child to be ready for Reception class in September.

You can book a place for you and your child on one of our online interactive sessions, or use the resources available to create your own activities at home.

Please check the Harlow Council events calendar for more information. You can also visit the ECFWS website and enter your postcode to find lots of useful information, ideas and activities in your area.

About school readiness

School readiness is about making sure children starting school have the skills they need to be ready to learn and fulfil their potential.

We work to improve the school readiness of Harlow’s children through play-based activities.

We run free school readiness events across Harlow during term time and bigger events for families over school holidays. You can check out our latest school readiness events by looking at our events calendar

All of our activities are age appropriate and focus on learning through play.

Advice for parents

There are many things you can do as a parent to help your child prepare for school. You can:

  • encourage them to feed themselves with a knife, fork and spoon, and to drink from a cup without a lid - try not to worry about spillages,  allow your child to help clean it up
  • encourage them to dress and undress by themselves – bath time is good for this
  • use dressing up clothes in play – it’s fun and encourages independence
  • use lots of praise and encouragement – it makes children feel proud of their achievements
  • let them try to do things for themselves - children learn through choosing, trying and doing
  • encourage them to make choices – it will give them self-confidence and allow them to learn about the consequences of negative choices
  • allow enough time for them to put on their own coat or shoes
  • talk to your child – explain, question and read with them as much as you can

You can get more advice from our leaflets on specific school readiness areas: