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You are here : home > Child Development > Intellectual Development > Preschool: Is Your Child Ready?

Preschool: Is Your Child Ready?


Preschool or playschool as it is popularly called is a growing concept in India. It is often seen as a toddler's first step towards mainstream education.


Preschools are often portrayed as a kindergarten readiness centre. They have activities varying from just encouraging children to adjust to a structured environment and become independent to a heavier curriculum where they are taught and prepared for admission to kindergarten.


General opinion

Almost all children between the ages 2-3 years are enrolled in a preschool. In fact so much that admission forms to kindergarten ask for information on the child's 'previous' school. Some parents see the preschool as a place where their child can mingle and learn to get along with other children their age. For others it is an alternative to day care. There are still others whose single aim is to gain an entry into the city's most sought after school.

But does admission to a preschool require any skills on the part of the toddler? "This is the first time my child is entering a school. She will learn what is suitable for her age there." Says Priya, a resident of Kochi, where there is a multitude of playschools. But is it the duty of the teachers at the preschool to teach your child even the basics?

Anu (name changed), who runs a preschool, is of the opinion that "Everyone wants to send his or her child to a preschool. Some parents don't even wait until their child is two years old. These children are not even toilet trained. Some cannot speak. Their parents expect us to teach them the basics." For such children the experience of a preschool becomes stressful. Should they be put through this for the sake of gaining admission into a good kindergarten or to give you some free time at home or work?


What you can do

To avoid putting your child through stress, make sure that you prepare your child for such an environment. Your child is ready for a play school when he can sit in one place for about ten minutes. This can be while listening to you, doing an activity or playing with a toy.

Another readiness indicator is toilet training. It may not matter so much if he has graduated to the regular toilet seat as most preschool are equipped for such young children. What matters is if he can say when he needs to go.

A third indicator is your child's ability to eat solids on his own. This will not only make your child feel confident when he eats along with friends but also saves the teacher's or the helper's time.

A last indicator is when your child shows interest in doing things on his own. This begins by the age of two and a half years.

"We get a mixed group of children," says Anu. "Some are only two and a half years old but speak and communicate clearly. Others are three but need help to eat. They tend to run around while they eat as they do in their homes and they tend to miss out on activity time. Parents seem to confuse a preschool with a day care facility." She adds, "We want the children to spend quality time in a safe and friendly learning environment where they can build their self confidence and self esteem. These are experiences that remain with them throughout their life."

Paying a bit more attention to your child's growing needs will tell you if he or she is ready for preschool. This way you can ensure your child has a stress-free learning experience.

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21 Comments
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Jayesh.8 years ago
my son is 3years old, i m looking for a good playschool????
 
 
 
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ap.8 years ago
very good article-
 
 
 
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l.8 years ago
l
 
 
 
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Smita.8 years ago
very nice article. actually my son is only 15 months ( bdate is 27th oct) and he fits in a age limit of one of good school near b our house , i was confused . now i get clear idea.thanks indiaparenting
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aparna chowdhury.8 years ago
my daughter is 2.5 and i am thinkinking of sending her to a play school but i want to know from an expert what exactly to expect from there and will it put a stress on my child or will she develop a fear towards studies?help me.
 
 
 
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Bindu.8 years ago
good informative article. my son will be 3 in another 4 months and will start pre-school from this academic year. but i was still confused if its too early to start schooling....now got the reqd answer and feel more confident. thanx
 
 
 
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Arati Rahane.8 years ago
i had put my daughter into pre-school at 2 years of age much against my own wishes put more so as i realised she needed much more exposure and activity than i could provide her at home by myself. she was eager to go out and play with her friends more and i realised that, regular evening play with friends, visit to the garden and some basic stuff i taught her at home got routine and boring for her.

within the first week of schooling itself, she picked up and mimicked numberous things that the teacher taught at the school. she is very eager to go to school as well. however, on the flip side, i have noticed that is is falling ill more often than previously. may be the changes in climate or may be infections from other kids, it does worry me and at times i wonder if i was wrong.
 
 
 
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Rani.8 years ago
good article. i have been running a playschool myself for the last 8 years. a notable change over the years is in the attitude of parents. no doubt they have to be actively involved in their child ,but the involvement has surpassed to levels of interference and over-protection. as a teacher, i find that a child adjusts far better and faster to a playschool, if the parents play a supportive role in tune with the teachers, rather than a protective role.
 
 
 
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Neha.8 years ago
i am doing my doctoral research on preschool curriculum.given my expertise i don't think we need to send tiny toddlers before 3 years of age. don't push yuor child too hard in these inital years.
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vaishali.8 years ago
hi, my daughter is 2yrs and 4 mths old . i put her in play school. she done good and showed interest also for 1 week. but after that she became upset and refuse to go to school. i am worried. people says that every child does the same some says that its too early age child.....what to do ? i paid total fees of pre school, should i take off my baby from the school to avoid the stressful condition or what to do? really confused.
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