Disclosure: This is a partnered post
Lots of parents struggle with the decision of sending their child to pre school. They wonder if their little one is ready, or if they’d be better going down an alternative route. It’s not uncommon to worry about these sorts of matters but it’s important to understand that there’s no right or wrong age.
Your decisions as a family whether to send your child to pre school depends on your unique circumstances. For example, some parents have unusual schedules and work commitments. Whereas others just want their kids to become comfortable with a structured learning environment before they join a big school.
To give you some further advice regarding pre-schools, I have teamed up with an independent school in Somerset who have a nursery department for children aged 0-4.
Introduce Them to Other Children
Most pre-schools open their doors to children when they are still babies, but others might request that the child is over two. If you’re apprehensive that your child might be too young for nursery, it might be a good idea to introduce them to the concept by way of parent and baby groups. This will allow them to interact with other little ones their age and begin their learning journey whilst you are still close.
Do Your Research on Pre-Schools
To relieve some of your concerns, it’s worth visiting a range of different pre-schools in your desired areas until you discover one that is the most appropriate for your child. As a parent, you will instinctively know whether or not your child will fit in and feel comfortable in each pre school.
Consider your priorities with regards to pre school and write out a list of questions prior to your visit so that the experience is as useful as possible. Learn what an average day consists of and ask what time the children have snacks or take naps. Then decide whether or not this works well with what your child is familiar with. You should take your little one with you when you visit the pre-schools and monitor how they react to the environment and the staff. This should help you decide whether or not they are likely to settle in.
Assess All The Options
Even though your child might not appear ‘ready’, as such, keep in mind that children are fantastic at adjusting and will get used to their new situation. There are other possibilities as far as childcare is concerned, so be sure to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each before you make your mind up. For example, a childminder will be able to personalise their care exclusively to your child’s needs in their own environment. However in a childminder setting, they will not experience the important socialisation available to them at a pre school, where they can play with lots of other children.
Deciding on and making childcare arrangements for your child truly is a personal choice for you and your family. Each family is unique, as is every child, so you simply need to decide what works best for you. However, attending pre school can be a valuable experience for your child and can provide them with many benefits.