A large percentage of toddlers join preschool around three years old. However, there are some who join as early as two and a half and some maybe aged four. However, there is no right or wrong age.
Why do some children join preschool at a younger age?
It is quite common for some toddlers to enter preschool earlier than their peers if they already have siblings in the school. They get conditioned to seeing their sibling get dressed and maintain a routine and quite comfortably fall into it themselves. Also for working parents, it’s often easier to make the transition from child care to preschool.
How do I prepare my child for preschool?
There are some schools that offer child care coupled with early learning that help prepare toddlers for preschool. However, for first time parents who are nervous about how they will manage to get the child to adjust to a new environment, a good way to ease the nerves is to fall into a routine. Talk to the child and make it fun. Make an effort to attend the orientation classes. Some parents even take toddlers to play on the swings or sandpit after hours to get them comfortable with the new environment and most playschools encourages this.
Other parameters to consider before sending your child to preschool
Age is not the only prerequisite for sending your child to preschool. Some other points to be considered are:
- Can your child follow basic instructions that are vital in a group environment?
It is important for your child to be able to sit for a while and concentrate on group activities. While concentration largely depends on the level of engagement, toddlers should be able to focus long enough to enable the engagement. They also need to be able to stay in a line and not wander off.
- Is your child potty trained?
A lot of preschools require toddlers to be potty trained so it is always advisable to check with the institution.
- Is your child able to perform tasks like wearing a jacket or shoes without assistance?
Simple tasks sometimes can be quite challenging. Hence, in order to encourage healthy development sometimes it is advisable to take some extra time to allow children to become comfortable and a little independent before sending them off to an environment where they might feel lost if they cannot keep up with their peers.