Starting/Leaving Ages


Did you know?

Every child, from the year after they turn 5 to 17 years of age, must be enrolled at and attending school, or an approved home education program. Children can also attend Kindergarten from 4 years of age.

This means that a child who has turned five on or by 1 January in any year must have started school in that year, or be provided with approved home education.

If you feel that your child is not ready for school at age 5, you should discuss your options with the school principal at your local school.


  • Kindergartens are play-based learning led by a registered teacher guided by the Early Years Learning Framework.
  • If your child is four years old on 1 January in any year they can go to Kindergarten.
  • Your child will be able to attend Kindergarten for 15 hours a week.
  • Sessions may be half day or full day depending on the school.

Before Kindergarten

  • Schools offer programs to support families and young children before Kindergarten.
  • These include Birth to 5 initiatives, Launching into Learning, and pre-Kindergarten sessions.
  • Parents and children attend these sessions together.
  • From 2020, eligible children with the greatest need children will be able to attend pre-school from three years of age (the year before Kindergarten). For more information, see the Working Together for 3 Year Olds initiative.
  • Child and Family Centres located around the state are also places where parents and children can go together to have fun and access education and health services.

School leaving age

  • Beginning in 2020, all young people must participate in education or training until they complete Year 12, attain a Certificate III, or they turn 18 years of age, whichever occurs first.
  • Currently, young people are required to continue participating in education or training until they turn 17 years of age.
  • Participation options include:
    • senior secondary study at a school or college offering Years 11 and 12
    • study at TasTAFE
    • an apprenticeship or traineeship, including an Australian School-based Apprenticeship
    • a training course through a registered training organisation
    • being home-educated.

Exemption from attending compulsory school

Home education

  • Parents may exercise educational choice to register as home educators, thereby assuming responsibility for delivering education during their children’s compulsory years of schooling.
  • The registration of home education is managed by the Office of the Education Registrar, ph 6165 6135 or email

Where can I get more information?

Image of Infosheet-EarlyYears-School-Starting-Age Factsheet Starting and leaving ages in Tasmanian Government Schools – printable brochure

Download the Print version of brochure
(PDF, 404KB)