When Should Children Start Going to School?

The time will come when your children start going to school. This step is hard for some parents and causes all kinds of doubts. According to laws and regulations, when should children start school?
When Should Children Start Going to School?

Last update: 04 October, 2018

You may feel uncertain and frustrated when it’s time for your children to start going to school. It’s an important but hard step to take  for parents, especially if it’s their first child.

Successful decisions will guarantee a future where children can learn and grow to the best of their abilities.

Parents are responsible for teaching their children for their first few years of life. The home is the safest place where children start to develop their biological functions, such as eating, drinking, walking, and even communicating.

When the question arises of how old children should start going to school, lots of parents are concerned. At first, their children will need to let go of all the comforts of home for many hours.

The work obligations of parents often lead to their children starting school. However, you also have to consider the capabilities of your child.

2 years old, the ideal age for children to start going to school

Between 18 and 24 months, children start to become more independent. They’re familiar with walking and can say some words. They’ve played with other children and can stay away from their mother for some time. Daycare centers help them increase autonomy and prepare them for formal education.

When children reach the age to start school, they start another stage of their life. They should get into the school environment, adapt to schedules, friends, teachers, challenges and learning.

This is when they start forming values and interests, both educational and extra-curricular. It requires a certain maturity to face challenges.

“Education is our passport to the future, because tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for today.”

–Malcolm X–

Obligatory after three years old

This year, Spain mandated that children start getting into the education system. Starting at age 3, it’s a requirement to start some kind of school. However, families that don’t know about this change and enroll their kids directly in first grade may do so.

In Spain, pre-school education is divided into two cycles. The first, up to three years, is taught in nursery schools or special nurseries. The second, from ages three to six, is free and considered an integral part of the education system. Normally, it’s a part of primary schools.

When Should Children Start Going to School?

It was mandatory starting from age 6

School is a right for children between ages 6 and 16. It’s mandatory and paid for by the State for those that choose public education. Many public schools incorporate bilingual programs and lower costs. Therefore, they’re more attractive when you go to choose a school.

Six courses in three cycles

Primary school has 6 academic courses in Spain. These start at 6 years old and end at age 12.

Therefore, the school system is broken into three cycle of two years each. In the first are students ages 6 and 7. In the second are kids ages 8 and 9. The third is made up of students ages 10 and 11.

Required Secondary Education

Required secondary education starts at age 12 and ends at 16. It contains two cycles of two years each. When it’s over, the student has two options:

  • You can continue with your Baccalaureate. This isn’t a part of required education and goes up to age 18. This helps you prepare for college.
When Should Children Start Going to School?
  • The student can also choose vocational training.

The path that each student chooses depends largely on when they start going to schoolTherefore, it’s important to pay attention to your child specifically. Monitor his progress at home to decide when he should go to school.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.