When you have young children, it can be difficult to know the right ages for different milestones in their lives. When should you take them to the dentist for the first time? When do they learn to ride a bike? When can you drop naps? Another question that may come up is “what is the best age for a child to begin preschool?”
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this question. Because everyone’s situation is different, there are many factors to take into consideration when making this decision. Some include:
- Need for childcare - If a family is in need of childcare because of work or other factors, a child may begin preschool or another childcare setting at an early age. Grandparents or other caregivers may also be involved in lieu of a preschool setting. Some parents may choose to keep their kids in a home setting longer than others.
- Financial ability - Unless you live in an area where public preschool is open enrollment or your family qualifies for a public program, private preschool may be your only option. For this reason, one of the biggest reasons parents wait to place their child in a preschool is the financial burden. If you are financially able, you may choose to place your child in preschool at an earlier age.
- Readiness of the child - Some children are ready at a very early age for a structured school setting and the social interaction that comes with being in school. Others, however, may need some extra time to mature and be ready for a full day of school. Depending on the programs in your area, you may choose to wait a little longer to enroll your child in a preschool if you are unable to find a program to fit the individual needs of your child.
Although circumstances may play a part in your decision of when to enroll your child in preschool, most children can benefit from a school with developmentally appropriate activities for young children. Starting at 18 months, children can learn important skills such as socialization, fine and gross motor development, how to follow instructions and independence. At this age, children are learning how to get along with others, can follow simple steps and are developing important muscles for future physical activity. A preschool that caters their curriculum to meet these milestones can be very beneficial for the young toddler.
Age 3 is also a prime age for young children to begin preschool. At this age, children are really learning to assert their independence and their brains are soaking in enormous amounts of information. When given age-appropriate tasks and lessons, three year olds can accomplish a great deal of learning and developmental growth.
While each child and family is different, a high-quality early education preschool can provide young children with a solid foundation for all future educational needs. Our staff at Fountainhead Montessori can help you determine the best age for your child to begin preschool. Contact us today and we can provide you with information about our program and guide you through this decision.