This study investigated the extent to which learning readiness, prior'to'school experiences, and child and family characteristics influence children's literacy and numeracy achievement across the first year of primary school. A sample of 104 kindergarten children was recruited from 16 classrooms and followed from the beginning to the end of their first year of primary school. At the start of school, parents provided information on children's prior'to'school experiences and their preparedness for school; teachers provided ratings of children's self'directedness and cooperative participation; and children's cognitive ability was assessed using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test ' III. Classroom quality was observed and rated mid'year. Children's literacy and numeracy achievement was assessed at the end of the school year, using the Who Am I? (WAI?). Regression analyses indicated that WAI? scores were predicted by child age, gender, cognitive ability and teacher'rated learning readiness at the start of school. Discussion focuses on the importance of the 'ready child' for early academic success.