In the blink of an eye, your baby went from diapers to potty-trained. You find yourself wondering if it is time for preschool for your child. How can you really know when it’s time to send your little one off to preschool? This is a question that most parents ask themselves as their children reach the ages of two or three. The answer is not always obvious. Let’s explore Preschool Readiness to help you decide if your child is ready.
What about you? Are YOU ready?
If the answer isn’t quite clear to you, that’s okay. You aren’t so sure you are ready to drop off your little one for hours away from you! Feeling nervous is a normal reaction.
Time away can be a good thing—it gives your child space to grow and teaches them some independence. Preschool will also help prepare your child for kindergarten by acclimating them to a classroom environment.
You know your child best. Let the topics below guide your reasoning and you will make the right decision for your child, yourself, and your family.
Your child can probably:
- Attend to a task, or listen to a story, for short periods of time. As a rule of thumb, a child can usually attend to a task for one minute for each year of age. In other words, a four-year-old would typically be able to attend to a task for 4 minutes.
- Communicate needs and desires to teachers. Even if a child is just beginning to speak, the child can make his/her wishes known through gestures, etc.
- Follow simple directions and be able to conform to simple routines.
- Enjoy learning through play.
Your child is probably:
- On the way to being potty-trained.
- In general good health and under the regular care of a pediatrician.
- Engaging actively and appropriately with peers in indoor and outdoor play.
Your child will probably:
- Be comfortable being away from you for short periods of time.
- Show signs of playing cooperatively with peers.
- Have had opportunities to interact with other children in small group settings.