How to Know if Your Child is Ready for Preschool  

When you begin to get signs that they are ready, this is when to start looking at potential preschools in your area for when your child is actually ready to attend. Many preschools have waiting lists and you want to insure that your child has a spot waiting for him/her. As well, you want to go visit some preschools so that you can get an idea of what it will be like for your child. You can get a sense of which schools, programs and staff you feel is a best fit for your child. You can also speak with the preschools and ask if they think your child is ready and what their specific requirements are for your child to be enrolled.

For now, here is a list of things to know when your child is ready for preschool.

It is time to enroll in preschool if your child. . .

  1. can spend time in other people’s care without crying for you
  2. is not dealing with major separation issues
  3. is fully potty trained with infrequent accidents at nap
  4. can pull pants up and down and can wipe themselves
  5. knows how to wash their hands and when to wash their hands
  6. can wash hands in a timely matter without playing at the sink and making a mess
  7. can put on their shoes and coat unassisted
  8. can dress themselves if changing clothes
  9. knows how to zip, button, snap etc when getting dressed
  10. can eat a variety of foods and will try new foods
  11. is able to eat unassisted, use utensils, drink without spilling, sit at a table during meals
  12. does not bite, hit or have any aggressive actions toward other children
  13. understands sharing and is willing to share
  14. is confident to stand up for themselves
  15. can be reasonable and compromise
  16. understands that there are consequences for not following rules
  17. will accept reasonable consequence for not following rules without incident
  18. is able to communicate their needs to adults and is confident enough to do so
  19. plays well with other children one-on-one and in a group
  20. is interested in playing, learning and making things
  21. gets excited to try new things and join in new situations
  22. is sometimes bored at home and ready for some new challenges and scenery
  23. can nap away from home without crying and can lay quietly when not napping
  24. will take direction from adults without incident or attitude
  25. is respectful of property and can put toys away when finished
  26. is able to sit in a group setting and pay attention to the main focus
  27. can adjust to different situations and transition with ease
  28. is able to understand, remember and follow a routine
  29. can stay up and be busy for a long period of time without getting crabby or tired
  30. only needs one nap in the day
  31. has math skills such as counting to 10, recognizing shapes, understanding patterns
  32. has reading skills like recognizes their name, can recite the alphabet, can look through a book in the correct sequence, enjoys being read to.   
  33. has writing skills like able to hold a pen, can trace lines, can draw squiggles as words
  34. has motor skills such as balance, jumping, running, throwing a ball and riding a tricycle
  35. is ready to be a big boy or big girl and go make friends, love their teachers and have fun at school!

If your child is having issues with any of these things make it a point to work on them at home. You have to teach them in ways that help prepare them for being out in the world successfully. If you think that your  3 – 4 year old child is unable to fulfill these things you should schedule a consultation with your pediatrician for professional advice.

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