Every parent knows how nerve-racking it can be taking the step towards preschool. After all, it’s only one step away from primary school!
It can be important to find the right preschool for you and your child, as well as ensuring they are ready to go. If they have the right developmental skills for preschool then it can benefit them in many, many ways before primary school.
Many children may be ready to go to preschool by the age of about three years-old, though as with everything, there are no strict rules and you will know when your child is ready.
Does your child have the social and emotional developmental skills that may be required of them in preschool?
To see if your child is ready for preschool try to observe the ways in which they interact with themselves and others.
Do they share willingly (most of the time, of course!) or can they occupy themselves by drawing or painting without constant attention that won’t always be available at preschool? If so then preschool may benefit and nurture their developmental skills greatly.
Other basic skills also need to be addressed. Many preschools (though not all) insist children must be potty-trained. Your child must have a few independence skills they will require in preschool such as being able to fall asleep without you there and using food utensils by himself. Do they have the stamina to survive on one nap a day?
How is your child with routine? In a preschool, routine is strict. There are set lunchtimes, naptimes and playtimes. To slowly introduce your child to this you can ensure you have similar routine at home for bath and bedtime.
If you still aren’t sure about your child’s readiness for preschool, try talking to those whom he spends time with such as a minder or grandparents etc. Or you could always talk to a preschool you like, describing your worries and they will be able to advise you of your next move.
If it seems like your child isn't ready to go to preschool quite yet, don’t worry. They will get there soon and in the meantime you can prepare them for what lies ahead.