This study explored the lived experiences of 20 Australian early childhood preservice teachers while on practical experience placement and examined the factors that informed their pedagogical experiences when working across both prior-to-school and school settings. Transcripts from interviews were analysed using grounded theory-informed methodology. Findings highlighted that preservice teachers’ prior experiences, and their experiences during placement, shaped their perspectives and pedagogical decisions when working across the two education contexts. Findings showed a disparity between preservice teachers’ practical experiences on placement in prior-to-school and school settings. Understanding the discontinuities for early childhood preservice teachers between the two education environments is instructive for theoretical knowledge, content design of tertiary degrees and the support needed for successful transference of skills and induction into early childhood teaching contexts. Close work with industry partners is needed on mentorship and explicit application of early childhood technical knowledge in differing curricula environments.