Determining the best age for your little bundle of joy is very crucial and hence, needs lots of thought and consideration on parent’s part as well as on school’s part. While most preschools start the enrolment for the children in the age group from 3 years to 4 years old, some starts with in the age group of 2- 4 years and there are a few which starts the enrolment right from 18 months even. There’s a need to understand that age is not the only factor which determines the right age for preschool. Every child grows differently not only physically but also socially and emotionally. Hence, all the factors should be considered carefully.
Is your child ready to get into a preschool?
Travelling to a preschool will lead to so many things altogether right from spending a couple of hours away from you. Since, you won’t be there to help your child with his/her usual routine, such as washing hands after playing, drinking water, asking for food, pooping and even peeing sometimes. You will have to check whether your kid is ready for preschool on all these fronts. He or she might be physically and emotionally ready but might not have developed social skills yet. Commuting to preschool would mean interacting with other kids as well. Below are few points which will help you decide whether your kid is ready for preschool.Being Independent: A little self-reliance is expected from the children when once they start attending preschool. For example, you have to observe whether your kid can carry out basic skills on their own such as eating, drinking, using the toilet, sleeping alone, etc.
- Physical Stamina For Preschool: A preschool is an active place, involving activities such as art and painting, field trips, playground to enjoy, etc., which means moving around a lot actively. If he or she is still not at that level yet or does not like to move from one thing to other or still loves to take frequent naps then maybe it’s not time for preschool yet.
- Social Smart: Often children at a young age, do not feel comfortable in the absence of their parents, partially because you had always been there with them. For example, if you have a babysitter who looks after your child then it will likely not be a problem for your kid to fit in preschool for a couple of hours in your absence. In a preschool your child has to undergo a lot of group activities, wherein all kids are required to participate together. Interaction with other kids, will of course be a good step to learn new things.
- Keeping A Standard Schedule: Kids tend to be more comfortable with a routine and that’s why usually, preschools follow a standardized timetable: circle time, play time, snack, playground and finally lunch. If your kid does not keep the same routine then probably there is a need for you to work on before they can start their preschool.
- Solo Player: Apart from group activities, preschool also has numerous individual tasks involving arts and crafts, which require a good focus and concentration power. If your kid likes to enjoy working on his own on puzzles or drawing at home, then it’s a good sign that he or she won’t have any difficulty at preschool either.
Being the part of education industry for near about a decade and also being in the preschool industry for quite about 3 years, What I have concluded that we must not rush on the process of making the child sit in the preschool as there is no right age for it. You can start the process as and when your child is ready. Children are natural learners they learn from the environment which we give to them. As parents, school leaders and educators we must focus on making our toddlers feel happy, confident and good about themselves.
Former Branch Head-Shri Ram Foundation,Preschool
Content Writer and Editor -Smart books