Many preschools will accept children if they are at least two and a half years old and potty trained. Even though your child may have reached these milestones, there are other factors to consider before making the decision to start a preschool program. Your decision should be based on whether he or she is capable of participating in a structured program based on their development:
5 Signs Your Child is Ready for Preschool
Children gain important skills in preschool, including learning numbers, shapes and letters, as well as social skills. Consider the following signs that your child may be ready to start school if he or she:
- Shows signs of independence. Being potty trained is a big sign your child is ready to go to school. But your child should also be able to eat without assistance, take a nap alone and wash their hands by themselves.
- Is able to keep a regular schedule. Most preschools provide structured programs with scheduled activities. Each day may begin with circle time and then a play period. Then there might be a snack break and time to run around the playground before lunchtime.
- Has the stamina to make it through the day. If your child still needs frequent naps, preschool may present a problem since many programs have nap time after lunch. If this is an issue, you may want to start your child off with a half-day program instead of a full-day program.
- Doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety. If your child is used to spending time away from you, they may be prepared to spend the day away from you at school.
- Interacts well with other children. Preschool gives your child the opportunity to interact throughout the day with other children and participate in group activities as children will learn and play together.
These are all important factors to consider when deciding whether or not your child is ready for preschool. However, if he or she does not fit all of these criteria it is still worth considering. The teachers will help them grow in these ways, as they learn to become more independent and learn to handle structure. Preschool will help them grow emotionally, socially and cognitively, as well.