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This study examined the role of parents' perceptions of their children's competencies and their educational optimism in forming expectations of their children's further education. A group of parents (N = 352) were asked to estimate the probability of their children's entering gymnasium or vocational school and to assess the child's competencies in the course of primary school years. Parents had crystallized anticipations of their children's further education as early as preschool, and the differences bound to parents' education and child's gender were well established in their expectations. By the end of the 7th school year, the relationships between the expectations and the competence assessments strengthened and became more uniform among parents, although there were also group-specific profiles.