Starting Preschool at Age 2 or 3

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Most preschools start accepting kids around the age of 2.5, but since every child is different, this isn’t a magic number. Preschool readiness really depends more on developmental factors than chronological age. Is your little one physically, emotionally, and socially ready for the classroom? Lots to consider here in making this big decision. Before you consider enrolling your 2 year old in preschool, be sure you can answer these four questions.

Does she have separation anxiety?

If your little one is still not comfortable being away from you, she’s not ready for preschool at age 2. Transitioning to preschool will be a stressful event already–you don’t want to add extra anxiety to the mix.

Is she potty-trained?

Sometimes preschools will help with potty-training, but many require that this skill is mastered before enrolling. Potty training is such a milestone developmentally, it can be a strong indication of preschool readiness.

Does she still nap?

If your 2 year old still needs a 2-hour nap each afternoon, she may not be developmentally ready for the activity level at preschool.  Usually preschools do have naps built into the day, but keep in mind she may not sleep as well at school as she does at home.

How are her communication skills?

Is she easy to understand? Can she ask for help when she needs it? She needs to be able to speak up and ask for help when she needs it, and she also needs to be able to communicate with her classmates. If you’re the only one who can understand her adorable little language, she’s not ready for preschool yet.

If you are confident in your answers to these questions, your 2 year old may be ready to start preschool. There are many other factors to consider, of course, like how she does with new situations, does she handle stimulus well, does she like being around other kids? The list goes on. But if you start by looking at these first indicators, you’ll best be able to assess if your 2 year old is ready to join the big leagues.

Brightwheel is a free, easy-to-use app for preschools, daycares, and families. Download it today and get started!
June 10, 2015

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