BATHURST parents are on trend with a new report that found one-in-four children in NSW are now starting school later.
According to the Univeristy of NSW-led study, children living in regional and more affluent areas were more likely to have a delayed start to primary school.
The study on school starting age in NSW found a later start led to improved early childhood development.
In NSW, children can start school provided they turn five in the first half of the year, but the study shows more parents are holding their kids in preschool until the year their child turns six.
Mitchell Early Learning Centre educational leader Julie Chesworth said she had seen a shift in attitudes to school readiness over her 30-year early childhood career.
"You're getting children stay on in early childhood that 10 to 15 years ago you'd have seen go onto school," Ms Chesworth said.
The UNSW study of 100,000 children found that NSW had the highest school-delay rates in Australia.
Multiple factors play into a young child transitioning from pre-school to kindergarten, including birth dates and socio-economic factors.
"Those early-in-the-year birthdays are very much staying on for another year," Ms Chesworth said. "It comes down to the value parents see in early childhood education."
The study showed students in more disadvantaged areas started school as soon as eligible.
"They may not have finances to stay back another year, so they take an option for their child to possibly repeat a year of kindergarten later on," Ms Chesworth said.
The study also found that those children who started later showed better development outcomes when compared to their peers, according to the Australian Early Development Census.
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Ms Chesworth has noticed older children in early childhood develop important skills for making a successful transition into kindergarten.
"They'd be able to follow what's going on a room, sit in group time, find their own possessions and answer questions teachers ask," she said.
"It helps with that little bit of independence they need."
But staying back was not suitable for every child. Some children developed more quickly and were ready to start school as soon as possible.
"Some will find that their children get restless, especially if they've been in services for several years."
Ms Chesworth believes this trend may keep growing, following the success of Nordic countries education system where children begin their first primary years as late as age seven.