At what age should you send your child to pre-nursery school?

Though most of the pre schools say that they will admit children of age two-and-a-half, you, as a parent, should ascertain if your children are ready for this. It is wrong to assume that children, on reaching the age of two-and-a-half, are magically ready for attending pre-nursery in Singapore. The fact is readiness to attend preschool depends upon the mental, physical and emotional developments of the children. Let us delve deeper.

Your children should be physically and emotionally ready to take part in an educational program in which more importance is given on structure. They should be cognitively and socially ready also. They will be interacting with other children and unless they are ready, they may find it difficult to cope with the new environment.

But of course, deciding that your children are ready for a pre-nursery in Singapore by listing out their skills is also wrong because it is not a foolproof method. The best way is to talk to your spouse, the doctor who is attending on the children and the caregiver of the children.

Patricia Henderson Shimm, Associate Director of Barnard College Center for Toddler Development, New York, who has co-authored the book, “Parenting Your Toddler”€ says that the answers to the following questions will help you determine the readiness of your children to attend a preschool.

1. The first question is: “Are your children fairly independent?”

Children who have to attend preschool must possess a few basic skills. They should have been potty-trained and should have learned to wash their hands after carrying out certain activities like painting and before and after eating their meals. They should have also learned to sleep alone.

2. Who has taken care of them until now?

Had your children been taken care of by a relative or a babysitter, there may not be any problem when they are separated from you for attending a pre-nursery. On the other hand, if you have been taking care of them all this time, there may be some difficulties. So, you have to leave them with their grand-parents or your sister and her kids for a few weekends so they may get accustomed to live away from you.

It is better to allow them to adjust to living away from you by separating from them for short spells instead of leaving them at a new place for a long duration.

Even a number of preschools allow parents to remain with their children for a couple of hours during the initial few days. Once they mingle with other children and get friendly with them, they will slowly adjust to the new environment.

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