Government to take away option for 4yos to start school

The Government is taking away the option for children to start school when they are four years old.

The rule change will come into force next year, meaning kids will have to wait until their fifth birthday.

Cohort entry, introduced by the National Government, meant from 2018 parents would have had the option to send their children to school up to six weeks before they turned five. If their child's birthday fell in the fourth term of the school year, the child could start school up to eight weeks early.

Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First all expressed concern over cohort entry, which was introduced as part of the Education Amendment Bill, fearing kids would be underprepared for the education system.

During the Bill's amendment earlier this year, then-Labour leader Andrew Little said in the life of a four-year-old, two months is "huge … it's almost a lifetime".

Legally, children aren't required to start school until their sixth birthday.