For those moving to Darwin or the Northern Territory pre-school is a planned education option for children in the years before they start school, most often from the age of 3yrs-5yrs. Although early childhood education in the Northern Territory is not compulsory, parents find it makes the transition to school life easier. As well as teaching the basic skills that will prepare them for school, children can also benefit from the socialisation with children their age. Pre-school will usually run between 9am-3pm with the option to send your child 1-5 days per week. Some pre- schools run for longer hours from 7.30am to 6pm.