While some preschool programs accept children as young as two-and-a-half years old, that doesn’t necessarily mean your child is automatically ready for preschool at that age. There are a lot of factors to consider, including your child’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical abilities. Your child must be prepared to participate in the daily, structured activities with other children. Do you have questions about how to know if your child is ready for preschool? Don’t worry, because this article takes a closer look at some of the factors you need to consider in order to help you decide when your child is ready to enter a preschool program.
How Independent Is Your Child?
Not only should your child be able to take care of basic needs, like going to the bathroom and washing their hands by themselves, but they should also be comfortable with spending time away from you. If your child has spent time alone with a babysitter or other relatives, they’re more likely to be comfortable around the preschool instructors.
Your child should also be able to complete basic projects with minimal supervision. If your child enjoys drawing, painting, or doing other activities on their own, they’ll probably do great in preschool. The preschool instructors won’t be able to closely supervise each individual child all day, so it’s important your child can do activities on their own for a while. Choosing the best preschool that allows your child to develop their skills is crucial in preparing them for kindergarten.
Does Your Child Play Well With Others?
In most preschools, group activities make up a large portion of the day. It’s important that your child is comfortable participating in activities with other children. Group activities can include playing, singing, learning activities, and storytime.
If your child hasn’t had many opportunities to be around other children, it might be a good idea to get them involved in some group activities before starting them in preschool. You can sign them up for a play group, a summer camp, or take them to activities at your local library. Being comfortable around other children is instrumental in having a successful time at preschool.
Is Your Child Physically Ready?
Preschools keep children busy and active all day long, so it’s important your child is able to keep up with the busy schedule. Choosing the best preschool for your child means finding one that works well with how your child behaves throughout the day. Most preschools have nap time, so it’s important your child can make it through the day with one scheduled nap. But you should also make sure your child can handle a day full of art projects, field trips, and play time without getting tired or cranky when it’s time to move on to another activity.
There are more than 5 million American children who attend some sort of prekindergarten program on any given day, but it’s perfectly normal for your child to not be ready to join them. Choosing the best preschool for your child might actually mean choosing to wait to enroll them in preschool. All children develop at different rates, and you want to make sure your child is really ready when it comes time to begin preschool.