29 Oct · Tim Carter · No Comments

A decision on whether to enroll a child in preschool is undoubtedly one of the most interesting any parent makes when raising a child. This is because most parents are never sure about their children’s ability to cope with the new environment and away from their watch. However, there are a few general indicators that can help parents easily decide whether or not their children are ready to take that first step to a daycare. Below are some of the questions parents should ask themselves to determine their children’s preschool readiness.

1. How often does the child spend time away from you?

Children who have at some point been under the care of someone else other than their parents, cope better once they enroll in preschool. This could include occasional stints with a babysitter, a relative, etc. However, if the child is yet to have such opportunities, parents may consider sending him/her to a relative for a few days in readiness for enrollment in a child care facility.

Nevertheless, a majority of children are able to adapt pretty well even without having to separate from their parents. However, this becomes easier when parents assist them adjust to changes and are keen to deal with their concerns.

2. How well does the child follow instructions?

It’s obvious that children at this tender age won’t obey every instruction given to them. However, a child who is ready to join a daycare should show some considerable responses to simple directions and instructions and on a regular basis. Sure, the child could be stubborn about certain things but again he/she shouldn’t be defying every directive given to them.

3. Does the child know how to use the toilet/potty and to clean up?

A majority of child care facilities expect that the child is potty-trained and able to clean up with minimal assistance before enrolling for the service. This means that he/she needs to have learned several routines such as re-zipping the pants and washing hands. However, some daycare facilities may be willing to accept the child especially if he/she shows developmental readiness despite struggling with potty-training and other related practices.

4. Can the parent understand what the child says/communicates?

A child below the age of 3 is not expected to speak perfectly but should be able to communicate and be understood by people around him/her. Besides, he/she should be able to hear and understand what others say. This means that the toddler should be able to speak a few sentences and describe something that occurred not long ago. However, if the child displays any form of speech or hearing difficulty, the parent may consider seeking assistance from a pediatrician or a speech therapist.

5. How does the child interact with other children?

Preschool is designed to help children develop empathy and tolerance for others. As such, children learn various social skills such as sharing and cooperation. The child should, however, show some level of empathy while enrolling in the preschool and also be able to interact well and play with other children.

Most preschools start accepting children at around 2 years, but that does not always mean all children are naturally ready for preschool when they reach that age. Far from it, readiness for such enrollment should be based more on the child’s level of development in various aspects such as emotional, physical, social and even cognitive capabilities. By asking various questions as outlined in this post, parents can quickly evaluate and tell if their children are ready to take the plunge.

Tim Carter

I’m Tim Carter, a thirty something year old, husband, father, childcare owner, and chocolate brownie lover. I believe children deserve better and only hope this blog will create a little change.