Parents can apply now to Derbyshire County Council for their child's infant or primary school place for September 2020.
Applications for children who were born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 open today (Monday) and will close at midnight on Wednesday 15 January 2020.
Parents can also apply during the same period for junior school places for children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 who are currently in Year 2 at an infant school and will transfer on to other schools in September 2020.
Applying online is the easiest method and can be done in the school admissions section of the county council's website at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/admissions.
Cllr Alex Dale, DCC's Cabinet Member for Young People, said: "Choosing the right school is an important decision in a child's life so we're urging parents to consider all of their options early on and apply before the deadline.
"Parents who miss the deadline are less likely to get a place for their child at their preferred school which could mean having to travel further or their child not getting into the same school as their friends."
Applying online also allows parents to make changes to their application at any point up to the closing date. Anyone who applies online will receive an email to confirm their application has been received.
When completing the application form, parents will be asked to list, in order of preference, the three schools they would most like their child to go to.
Parents who do not have access to the internet can Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190 to apply between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and 9.30am and 4pm on Saturdays.
They can also choose to complete a paper form, which they can get by emailing the county council's admissions and transport team at email@example.com or by calling them on 01629 537499.
All applications must be returned to the address shown on the form by the closing date.
Although parents have a legal right to express preferences, they have no automatic right to a place at any particular school.
Applications submitted to the council after the deadline will not be considered until places have been allocated to those children whose parents did return their form on time.
Any parents who are a refused a place for their child have a right of appeal to an independent panel. Parents can apply for their child's place online at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/admissions.