School Readiness

Click for useful information about physical activity, healthy eating and oral health and find out how they can help get your child ready for school.

Every parent and carer hopes that their child can settle happily into school and will be a successful learner. Coronavirus may be causing parents and carers to worry about their child's development and how this may impact their school readiness. On this page you will find some useful information about physical activity, healthy eating and oral health, and will find out how to improve your child's school readiness through these three key areas.

School Readiness Reward Chart

To help your child become school ready, Health for Under 5's have produced this great reward chart which is perfect for 3-4 year old's.

The chart will track your child's progress through a series of mini goals that you choose.

To encourage your child to work on each goal, make sure to involve them in the rewards they earn (it could be a trip to the park or an extra bedtime story).

Throughout the sections below, we will highlight some mini goals you can work on.

Physical Activity Under 5’s

Keeping your little one active is so important. It's as important to a child's development as numeracy, reading and writing.

Encouraging your child to be physically active may help in leading a healthy, active lifestyle later on as an adult. We have lots of resources, videos and links to help you give your child their best start in life!

  • Early Years Make Your Move Early Years Make Your Move (PDF, 1.5 Mb)

    View this document to access more key information and practical ideas about under 5's physical activity.

School Readiness - Physical Activity Mini Goals

Mini goals for children aged three (ready for pre-school):

  1. I can climb a ladder at the park to go down the slide
  2. I can catch a ball using both hands
  3. I can put on my own pyjamas
  4. I can put on my own coat

Mini goals for children aged four (ready for primary-school):

  1. I can sing my favourite nursery rhymes and do the actions
  2. I can hop
  3. I can jump forwards with two feet together
  4. I can do up a button on my clothes
  5. I can move a zip up and down

Healthy Eating Under 5’s

  • Enjoy family time and eat meals together at the table to enjoy a variety of foods
  • Encourage a healthy breakfast to provide the best start to the day
  • Limit foods high in fat and sugar as these provide energy with few nutrients
  • The best drinks for children are water and milk
  • Children do not need salt adding to foods

Benefits of Healthy Eating

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • The right nutrition to aid growth and development
  • Enough energy to be physically active and to concentrate at school

School Readiness - Healthy Eating Mini Goals

Age three (ready for pre-school):

  1. I can choose my own drink and snack
  2. I can use a knife and fork with my food
  3. I can pour my own drink

Age four (ready for primary-school):

  1. I can try a new food
  2. I can help to set the table

Useful Resources

Oral Health Under 5’s

It's so important for children to look after their teeth. Below you will find some useful top tips and links about how to improve and maintain children's oral health.

Top Tips for Oral Health

  • Brush twice a day for two minutes (last thing before bed and one other occasion). Children aged 7 and over should be able to brush their own teeth, but it's still a good idea to supervise and check they brush properly.
  • Children from 7 years of age should continue to use a pea size amount of toothpaste containing fluoride of between 1350ppm and 1500ppm.
  • Mouthwash containing Fluoride should be used at a different time to brushing if needed.
  • Reduce sugar intake and limit sugary food and drinks to mealtimes only. Plain milk and plain water are the safest drinks for teeth.
  • You should continue to take your child for regular dental appointments as recommended by your dentist.

School Readiness - Oral Health Mini Goals

Age three (ready for pre-school):

  1. I can point to parts of my body when asked to (e.g. my teeth)

Age four (ready for primary-school):

  1. I can brush my teeth all by myself

Useful links, info and videos:


Additional Health and Wellbeing Links