When your child reaches toddler age, you may start thinking about where to send them to preschool — and it’s also important to consider when is the right time to enroll. Some children, for example, start at the age of three while others wait until they’re four. 

Which is best? Well, there’s no magic number to rely upon, so it’s important to use your child’s development to determine if they have the foundational skills needed to enter preschool — physically, emotionally, and socially — or if, instead, it’s better to give them additional time before enrollment.  

Developmental Factors To Consider

One key factor, MyBrightWheel.com notes, is the degree of separation anxiety that your child experiences. If your child struggles when away from you — regardless of their ability to recognize colors, letters, or numbers — this suggests that it may be too soon to transition them to preschool. 

The article also notes how the National Association for the Education of Young Children shares tips on reducing stress for your almost-ready preschooler during a transition period. This can include visiting your preschool of choice, showing them where they’d hang their coats, eat, take a nap, and play with new friends. Also show your child where you’d pick them up each day. 

My Bright Wheel also points out the importance of potty training. This is a key milestone for young children and can help you to decide when to enroll in preschool. When you’re confident that your child has mastered this skill, this indicates a higher degree of readiness for preschool.

Understood.com agrees with the potty-training factor, using it as the “P” in their preschool readiness acronym: PIECES. Here’s the rest:

  • I for “independent”: Although preschoolers will continue to learn this skill in their program, a degree of independence is helpful before enrollment. 
  • E for “expressive”: Your child should have the ability to appropriately vocalize their wants and needs.
  • C for “concentration": It’s important for your child to have some degree of focus.
  • E for “emotionally ready", including the ability to spend time apart from you.
  • S for “stamina”: Look at how much nap time your preschooler needs. 

VeryWellFamily.com shares info about another important factor: social readiness. How much has your child socialized with other children so far? Whether that’s siblings, neighbors, or ones in your playgroup, watching your child interact can help you determine if your youngster is socially ready. If not, arrange a few playdates with kids of similar ages and see how well your child joins in. Some dive right in while others may be a bit more cautious. Both are normal — and these interactions should be a factor in deciding when is the right time to enroll in preschool.

Preschool Program Fall Enrollment

When it’s time to enroll, Horizon Education Centers’ preschool programs are ideal to prepare your child for future learning. This includes enhancing literacy skills, verbal and social skills, numbers and letters recognition, and more. The goal is kindergarten readiness, so we’ll also conduct developmental screenings and assessments as part of our program to ensure your children’s academic success.

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