Some preschool programs are open to children as young as two, but not all children are ready for preschool at that age. How can you tell if your child is ready to go to preschool? Here are some signs.
Your child shows independence.
Does your child need constant help with daily tasks? Independence in skills such as using the bathroom, hand washing, and getting dressed are all signs that your child may be ready to start preschool.
Your child is able to effectively interact with others.
Can your child carry on conversations with other adults? Does your child play with other children? Seeking out social interaction is a sign of readiness for preschool.
Your child asks questions and wants to learn.
Children may be ready for preschool when they begin to actively question the world around them and want to know more about every subject. If your child wants to know answers like what animals eat for dinner, why there are clouds in the sky and how an airplane flies, it's a sign that enrolling in preschool is a good choice.
Your child can stay awake and alert for several hours.
By the age of 2, most children are taking one nap a day and others may not be napping at all. There are also toddlers who still require a morning and an afternoon nap to be at their best.
Does your child get sleepy and cranky after a full morning of activity? If your child can handle being active for several hours, it could mean that the child is ready for preschool.
Your child thrives when following a daily routine.
Preschool is a structured environment where children follow a schedule. If your child is not yet ready to follow a routine, it may be too early to consider preschool.
Your child is comfortable in a group setting.
Does your child have the mental focus to participate in a group of adults and children without wandering off, demanding full attention or disrupting the other children? If your child can sit with a group of other kids and pay attention to a teacher, even for just a short period of time, it might be time for preschool.
Your child wants to go to preschool.
Is your child excited about the idea of going to preschool and interacting with other children? When you talk about preschool, does your child get excited or become quiet and worried? Your child will show enthusiasm when ready for preschool.
Ask yourself how your child fits into each of these statements to help determine if preschool is a good idea. You can also ask a preschool teacher or director to evaluate your child if you aren't sure. Preschool is a wonderful way for children to explore and learn, but only if they are ready. Give your child the best start possibly by bringing preschool into your lives when the child is ready for it.