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When your child needs support to get to school or preschool

Sometimes your child will need support to get to school or preschool. The kind of help depends on what’s happening.

If your child is sick 

Your child is not expected to go to school or preschool if they are sick. If your child’s illness is contagious then they should stay home. 

The department has advice for parents and carers around coronavirus and going to school. Refer to the COVID-19 page for more information. 

If your child goes to the doctor, ask for a medical certificate. Give it to the school or preschool. They need a copy for their records. 

If your child has a severe or ongoing illness, talk to the school or preschool. You can talk about this with your child’s teacher or the principal or preschool director.

A health plan can be made to support your child’s health and learning needs. The school or preschool will work with you and your child’s doctor or specialist to develop the health plan.  

You can call the parent helpline for support on 1300 364 100. 

Let your school or preschool know

If your child is going to be away, it’s important you let the school or preschool know as soon as possible.

Let them know on the day it happens. This helps the school or preschool support your child.

More information and support

If your child refuses to go to school or preschool

To get out of school or preschool, your child might: 

  • ask to stay home
  • say they don’t feel well
  • misbehave
  • argue.

If this happens, try to find out what’s going on with your child. It might be that they:

  • don’t like school or preschool
  • don’t have friends 
  • don’t like their teacher. 

Your child might also be testing boundaries. They might want to see how you react.

Talk with your child

You can find out what’s happening by talking with your child. 

  • See how they are feeling. 
  • Find out why they don’t want to go school or preschool.

Talk with your child’s school or preschool

Talk to your child’s teacher, principal or preschool director. 

Ask if:

  • they have noticed any changes in your child’s behaviour or mood 
  • there is anything unusual or challenging going on at school or preschool.

Speaking with your child’s school or preschool regularly can help your child. 

More information and support 

If your child doesn’t want to go because of bullying

It can be upsetting to learn that your child is being bullied. 

Avoiding school or preschool because of bullying will not solve anything. 

You need to deal with this early. It helps you support your child. 

Talk to your child

Ask how your child is feeling. 

Talk about and practice what to do if they are being bullied

Talk to someone at your child’s school or preschool 

Schools and preschools know bullying is serious. You can talk to them.

  • Find out if staff have seen any bullying. 
  • Ask if they noticed any changes in your child’s behaviour.
  • Work with the school or preschool to think of solutions. 

More information and support 

If your child doesn’t want to go because learning is difficult 

Sometimes learning can feel hard. 

Talk with your child about what’s happening. Find out what’s difficult for them. 

Talk about what they enjoy and are good at. 

Talk with your child’s teacher

Have a discussion with your child’s teacher about your child’s learning. 

Teachers can make adjustments to suit their individual learning needs.

For ideas about speaking with your child’s teacher:

Supporting your child’s learning at home

There are some things you can do at home to help with your child’s learning.

You can ask your child’s teacher for ideas.

There are also resources for families to use at home including:

More information and support – learning difficulties

Engagement and Wellbeing — Attendance

Speak with someone at the school or preschool for more information.
Search for a school or preschool by name.
Emaileducation.attendance [at] sa.gov.au