Starting school is an important time for young children, their families and educators. Data gathered from interviews and questionnaire responses from approximately 300 parents, 300 educators and 300 children have been used to describe the most important issues for children, parents and educators as children start school in New South Wales, Australia. Using grounded theory, a series of categories of responses was devised that reflected the issues raised by respondents. These categories related to: knowledge needed to start school; elements of social adjustment required in the transition to school; specific skills to be mastered; dispositions conducive to a successful start to school; the rules of school; physical aspects of starting school; family issues; and the nature of the educational environment. These categories and the relative value attributed to them by the different groups of respondents form the basis of this article.