What is the Right Age to Send Your Kid to Playschool?

When people hear the word “playschool,” they often envision a popular brand of children’s toys that has lived through quite a few decades. While they are right in their thoughts, playschool also refers to a nursery school that children attend for just a few hours per day. As warranted by the age group, the educational component is not very rigid. Really, deciding whether and when to send your kid to playschool is more contingent upon other factors, and here’s what you need to know.

The School Requirements
The school likely has a certain age requirement for the playschool program, whether it be 18 months or two years. Generally, schools are pretty strict with their requirements, so your child will need to make the cut-off date. Let’s say only children who will be two years old by December 31, 2012, are permitted to join, and your child was born on December 29th. When birthdays fall that late in the year, you usually have the option to wait an additional year. Whether or not to do so depends on the maturity of your child.

Maturity Level
Speaking of maturity, this component is a major one. Of course, no toddler is going to be super mature, but somecan be mature for their age. If your child still desperately needs to be around you at all moments, it might be better to find a Mommy & Me or gentle separation program first. However, on the other hand, children who have a strong sense of independence often thrive from such programs.

Educational and Recreational Needs
You must also consider where your child is in terms of educational and recreational development. For example, if he or she has never socialized with children of the same age, then such a program is an excellent idea. What about a child who is speech delayed though? Instead of a program that is focused on play, this child would likely be better in a more formal setting and perhaps even with an early intervention specialist, if such a plan has been permitted.

The General Age
We have provided you with some guidelines for figuring out if your little one is the appropriate age for playschool. What is the general age of a child in such a program though? Well, most of these individuals are going to be toddlers, so they could be anywhere from 18 months to three years old. At the age of three, they might stay in the program or go to a regular nursery school. By four years old, they will likely be entering into a standard pre-kindergarten class, so it’s unlikely that children of this age will be present.

When you are considering sending your child to playschool, the first step is to find out if he or she even qualifies based on his or her age. If you’re still uncertain about this decision, call the school to see if they offer trial sessions or a program where you can stay with your toddler for the first few days.

Amanda Embry writes about parenting, education and more. She has recently written a series of articles on the highest paying education careers.

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