Deciding a generalised right age for joining preschool is not an easy one. Parents have varied reasons for enrolling their children in preschools at differing ages. For majority of the parents it is a practical decision for the parents if both of them are working. It is a big concern of keeping the little angel in the hands of a proper care group. So, it is important that they look for a group care which is developmentally oriented and that too pretty early.
Usually parents enroll their kids to a preschool by the time the child is two to two and-a-half years old. But at times it is found that the child may not be mentally prepared to adapt to the environment away from home before the age of three. Keeping aside the professional lives, parents desire to provide a social experience to their children and so they opt for the preschool at a relatively early age.
What do the Research Studies Say?
There are several studies conducted that look into the ideal age for a toddler to attend preschool. It has been found that in order to determine this it is important to see what sort of experience he is having outside preschool. There are a lot of households that have a sort of home school environment. There are certain attributes of such an environment like
- A wide array of books on children literature stacked away in cupboards that are within the reach of the child. These include story books, books on superheroes, comic strips and fairytales along with science journals for kids.
- There is a huge collection of hands-on educational toys. The kid has access to them whenever the need arises, be it for fun or for explaining something.
- The family has an active social atmosphere marked by frequent visits by family and friends who are accompanied by children of similar age groups.
These are all attributes of a regular preschool environment. So children who grow up in such an atmosphere do not require an early admission to the preschool. This is because the home itself provides a good developmental opportunity. Another important point here is that the parents need to devote a fair amount of time with the kid during the learning and fun sessions.
On the other hand if the parents lack time or feel that it is a tad too boring to keep on reading the same stories to the child over and over again or playing the same game repeatedly, chances are that you will not be wholehearted in your approach. It will not be quality time that you are giving to your child as the kid requires honest attention. Under such situations, it is advisable to start the preschool early.
Now from a practical approach from the point of view of the child, here are a few concerns that you need to note
It is usually found that a child can enjoy positive peer interaction when they are older than two years old. There a few kids who enjoy adult-child interaction even before they are two years old. It is therefore by the age of two that the child becomes a social being. At the initial stage the teacher-child ratio should be 1:3.
It has been observed that children living in group care units happen to suffer from ear infections. Although the care givers are generally careful with such issues, it is essential that the child is able to take the basic care of him self. This requires a minimum level of maturity that comes after the child completes two or two and-a-half years.
Therefore early enrollment is a viable option if the parents are unable to provide the child with a positive environment that is conducive to development. So when the child is between two to four years of age, you need to judge the home environment and then decide whether you should consider an early or a late enrolment. The most vital factor is to ensure the child’s comfortableness in whatever environment he is placed into.