What is the ideal age to start preschool for my child? Should I wait till he is 3 years old? He is now 10 months old.
However, there are a few things to consider:
1. Is your child currently experiencing an enriching life? Is he adequately stimulated?
Children should be given adequate time and variety of experiences to learn, think, create and problem-solve. For example, at My First Skool, a key element of our birth to threes program is that teachers observe and plan for the children based on their interests and development. This means the child will be provided with experiences appropriate for their stage of development and nurture their ability and desire to learn. If your child is spending time mainly shadowing an adult or going through the same routines such as having TV time and being carried around to run errands, being in a preschool will give your child the opportunity to be stimulated and challenged according to their development.
2. Does your child have siblings or other children to play with regularly?
Preschool is the best place to learn how to get along and work with others – essential skills for life. It also provides the child with multiple opportunities to practice and learn how to communicate with different people, negotiate, wait their turn and most certainly enjoy the benefits of being a part of a learning community. Preschool is where children acquire pseudo siblings. Playing with adults while beneficial is significantly different to playing with other children.
3. Does your child need time to get used to new people, new places and new routines?
If your child has a quiet, tentative, slow-to-warm personality, starting earlier at a preschool will help. At My First Skool, our birth to threes program works closely with families to maintain continuity between the home and school. This will ensure the child experiences as seamless a transition from home to preschool as possible. Starting earlier at a preschool also provides your child with adequate time to settle into a learning community and environment and be confident and ready to learn.
To find out more about My First Skool's curriculum, click HERE.
Head of Professional Practices and Development
Angela Chng is the Head of Professional Practices and Development at NTUC First Campus. She is an early childhood teacher and a Birth to 8 specialist with over 16 years experience working with young children and families both in Singapore and Australia. Angela is also an editor and author for early childhood publications on pedagogy and practice.