Although many preschools accept children who are at least 2 ½ years old, that does not mean that your young toddler is already ready for preschool. Different kids develop at different rates, when one kid already knows how to feed himself at two years, your two-year-old may not necessarily be able to do so for a couple more months.
How do you really know when your child is ready for preschool? It can be tricky, but it is somewhat doable. You just need to ask yourself the following questions:
Is your child independent?
Although it is just preschool, it still requires that your child be independent, albeit in doing the simple things. For instance, your child needs to know how to wash his hands before every meal and after each messy activity, eat by himself, and at the very least, your child should be potty-trained.
Has he spent time away from you?
If your child is used to being taken care of by a babysitter while you and your spouse go on a short date together, then he will be just fine when you have to leave him when he goes to preschool. Kids who are used to being away from their parents for short periods often adjust to preschool pretty quickly. If your kid still has not left your side for even a couple of hours then it is about time that you schedule some time. For instance, you can leave your child with his grandparents for an entire weekend, or at least one whole Saturday, if they live nearby.
On the other hand, if you cannot manage to work on you and your child’s separation issues, you do not need to worry. Plenty of kids who have not spend any significant amount of time away from their parents managed to adjust to preschool life fairly easily.
Can he work and finish tasks on his own?
Preschool usually entails quite a lot of arts and crafts, which require concentration, patience, and focus on the task at hand. If your toddler likes to doodle, enjoys working on simple puzzles, or likes to build stuff using Lego bricks, then he’s most likely ready for preschool.
However, even if your kid still needs a bit of help with said activities, you can train him to work on his own by setting up regular play times every day where he can play by himself for half an hour or so. For instance, before you start cooking dinner, set your toddler up with some finger paints and a whole lot of paper. This not only trains your toddler to work by himself, you are also conditioning yourself to not hold his hand whenever you see him having trouble.