Toddlerhood is a fun and exciting time where your little one is discovering the world and making up their own mind about how things work and their role in the world. Around the age of two, parents usually find themselves discussing the education and academic development of their child. This is an age where vocabulary and the ability to perform skills advances rapidly. However, formal kindergarten does not begin until age five or six, leaving many parents fumbling to find a base point or wandering what they should be doing to properly stimulate and educate their child. Before you go searching for a preschool that will take your two-year-old, join us as we discuss a few indicators that your child may be ready.
Before we jump right into the post, we want to take a minute to remind our parents and readers that every child develops on their own schedule. While there are “normal” developmental milestones — take walking, for instance — at what point a child achieves these milestones varies. And, while your child may crawl “early” and walk “late,” this is by no means that there is something wrong. Refrain from comparing your child’s height and weight, eating habits, speech, or physical development from any other child. Assessing a child’s development and intellectual abilities are not always as simple as observing. If you are ever concerned about your child’s development, do not ask other parents, observe other children for reference, or consult internet articles, talk to your pediatrician. Okay, with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s dive in.
What to Ask Yourself Before Even Looking For a Preschool
Before you begin making a list of the things you think are important in a preschool or calling for more information about different preschool programs, first, there are a few questions you should ask yourself and answer honestly. These questions will make a big difference in the success your child has at any learning or childcare program and can be a good place for you to start in your academic preparation.
- Does your child experience separation anxiety?
- When and how long are your toddler’s naps?
- How social is your child?
- Can your child communicate their needs?
- Is your child potty-trained?
If the answers to any of the above questions would cause anxiety or discomfort for your child while attending preschool, consider waiting until your child is comfortable conforming their habits to a preschool’s schedule. Begin working on the things that would make attendance difficult, like socialization, time away from you, and communication skills.
Find the “magic time.”
The right time to begin preschool will vary for each child. While your two-year-old may be ready to go, it is not abnormal if your three-year-old needs a little more time. Children can begin preschool programs anywhere between two and five years old, with three to four being the most common. If you are concerned that you are stunting your child’s intellectual or academic development, but they aren’t ready for preschool just yet, that’s okay, you’ve got other options!
For preschool alternatives, check out learning programs at your local library, daycare, or elementary school. Attending pre-school-like programs may help your child become more social and comfortable in a learning setting, in much smaller doses. You can also enroll your child in a daycare program that offers a curriculum that combines play and education. Daycares often offer similar lesson plans to that of preschool, spread out over more time and a little more casually. This still offers your child the opportunity to learn, in a less structured environment that is care-centered rather than education-focused.
At Darleen’s Wee Care 4 Kids, we offer daycare and preschool programs for toddlers of all ages. Whatever your child’s needs are, we have a program that can help! Contact us to register your toddler today!