For parents, sending your child off to preschool for the first time can be nerve-wracking. Are they really ready? Will they behave themselves? Are they going to be okay? It’s a lot to worry about, and it’s completely normal. Here are some signs that your child is ready for preschool to help put your mind at ease.
- Age requirements: Obviously, age requirements for enrollment are going to vary by school, but generally, it’s safe to assume a child between three and five years old will be able to enroll in a pre-primary program. Roughly 42% of three-year-olds and 68% of four-year-olds were enrolled in preschool in 2013, meaning that there are plenty of programs that will start taking kids at that age.
- Potty training: If your child is going to be going to preschool, it’s important to be sure that they’re potty-trained. Of course, this isn’t a requirement at all preschools, especially for schools that accept three-year-olds or even younger children. Still, it’s best if your child can take care of business themselves most of the time.
- Communication and expression: In order to do well in a preschool environment, with unfamiliar adults and other children, your child should be able to decently communicate when something is wrong. This doesn’t necessarily mean being able to speak in full sentences; a basic vocabulary and the ability to communicate needs should be enough.
- Working with others: Is your child capable of working in a group environment? Do they handle other children well, or do they have some issues in group settings? Your child is going to spend a lot of time around other kids in preschool; make sure that they are ready and able to handle that kind of social atmosphere.
If you’re not sure if your child is ready for preschool, not to worry; there’s plenty of ways to work on the skills needed for starting preschool at home. However, if you’re worried that your child may be missing important developmental milestones, consider talking to your pediatrician to determine the best course of action to get your child on track.