Preschool FAQ

Typically, preschool (also known as pre-K), children are three and four years old.

When Do Kids Start Preschool?

Preschools generally accept children at the age of three. Many preschools separate the three and four year olds into two different classes. The three year olds usually don’t attend school as many days as the four year olds, but are taught the same lessons and skills.

However, the Montessori method starts the children at a younger age and mixes the age groups.  This allows children to begin developing cross-age social skills, and at a younger age.

How to Become a Preschool Teacher

 A high school diploma is required.

If you don’t have one, you can take a GED exam, which is the same level of achievement as getting a high school diploma.

 An ECE, degree in early childhood education, is required.

You can do one of two things, depending on where you plan to work as a preschool teacher. If you teach in a daycare or private school, an associate degree in ECE is all that may be needed. When working as a preschool teacher in a public school, a bachelor’s degree in ECE is required, most of the time.

Certification is required.

In order to be certified, you must take and pass a state certification exam. Also, the following needs to be completed before receiving a Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate.

  • You need 480 hours working with children.
  • You need at least 120 hours of formal education.
  • Your certification will need to be kept up-to-date in various ways, depending on whether you’re working in a private or a public school. States may vary, as to certain requirements, when teaching in a preschool setting. 

What Age Do Kids Start Preschool?

When your child is three years old, or when he/she seems ready. Most preschools enroll three and four year olds, although some accept two year olds.

What Age is Preschool and Kindergarten?

Preschool aged children are usually in the toddler age range of three and four. They also may be the ages of two or five, depending on their skill levels and whether a preschool accepts enrollment at these ages.

The kindergarten age is typically five or six. A child can be five years old as long as they are five by January 1st, the same year they are starting kindergarten. An exception for starting earlier is if they are tested and found to be ready at a younger age. 

When to Start Preschool

Preschool is a way for your young child to learn to get along with other children and adults, get a head start on basic skills before starting kindergarten and learning to share with others, as well as many other things that they will learn.

Some signs to watch for, in your child, to determine whether they are ready to start preschool 

  • Socializing: Your child gets along with other children well and loves being with them.
  • Anxiety of Separation: Is okay with being separated from mom and/or dad and doesn’t seem anxious or apprehensive.
  • Toilet Trained: He/she no longer wears diapers.

Some points to help your toddler to prepare for preschool are:

  • Check out the preschool and talk to the administrator and the preschool teacher before enrolling your child.
  • Take your child to the preschool beforehand so they will see what it’s like. They may even be able to meet their teacher.
  • Make sure your child is involved in picking out the things needed for preschool, such as backbacks, supplies or snacks.
  • Help your child learn numbers, colors and other skills that will help them when they start preschool.
  • Help your child become more independent by letting he/she put on their clothes and shoes, button or zip their clothes, comb or brush their hair and other things they can do for themselves. 
  • Rev them up! Get them excited by saying how much fun they will have and how much they will learn. Let them know that when you say “good-bye”, you will be back to get them soon. Try not to tarry and stay around too long when dropping them off at their preschool.

When to start preschool can vary with each child, so age isn’t the only factor when deciding when he/she should start.