Most early childhood education centers such as preschools and Montessori schools (primary classroom) will accept children at 2.5 years old. That doesn’t necessarily mean your child is ready for preschool. Your child should be emotionally, physically and cognitively ready to attend preschool.
Is your child potty trained?
Some preschools require that your child is already potty trained. For some parents, this is not a problem, but for some it’s a huge challenge. Not all children potty train at the same pace. As a parent, you need to find a preschool that will help you potty train or wait until your child is potty trained.
Has your child spent time away from you?
If you are a stay home parent with your child, then the child will have a harder time separating from you when he goes to preschool. As a parent, if this is your first child it will be really hard for you too. The key is to be positive and talk to your child often about preschool. The day before first day of preschool, let them know that they are going to preschool tomorrow. Make your tone positive. Encourage them to help you pack their lunch for tomorrow. When you drop them off at school, give them a hug and let them know that you will be back to pick them up soon. Make the good bye quick. Don’t linger and don’t show how nervous you are about leaving them behind either. He will most likely cry, but after a few minutes they will be distracted by the environment and other kids. The first couple of weeks, it will be hard, but kids soon get used to the routine.
Is your child on a schedule?
Most preschools have a set schedule, especially Montessori schools. So it’s important that your child is on a regular schedule so that they know what to expect next. If you are planning on sending your child to preschool only 2 days a week, and you are keeping him home 5 days a week, it will be harder for the child to get used to the preschool schedule. We recommend that you send the child to school at least 4 days a week, even if it’s only ½ days. This will help to standardize his day. You can help him along, by keeping his schedule at home consistent too. For example, have a bed time routine.