Children usually start school by the time they are five years old. For a lot of parents however, starting them young is the best way to get them ready for big school. If you are like most parents, you might already be thinking about enrolling your child at an infant-to-toddler preschool right after his or her first birthday. One important thing to keep in mind is that your choice of a preschool for toddlers will greatly impact your child’s perception about learning at a more formal setting.
A preschool facility is your child’s first introduction to formal education, with teachers, classmates, and structured programs and activities. And your child’s first experience in school could have a huge impact on their succeeding years in school. With that said, it is recommended that you spend a good amount of time visiting preschools and talking to teachers and school staff.
First things first, when you visit an infant-to-toddler preschool, it is important that you openly communicate your concerns about leaving your child in school for the first time. The way the staff and teachers respond to your questions and concerns can give you an idea as to whether or not they have the capability to look after your toddler while in their care.
Some of the things that you may want to talk about are:
- Separation anxiety in your child
- Your child’s social skills (or lack thereof)
- Eating and sleeping (napping) habits
- Activities that interest them (playing with blocks, cars, reading, doodling or coloring)
- Toilet training
A good preschool for toddlers should have a well-designed program that will help kids:
- Develop independence skills
- Develop and enhance language and cognitive skills
- Develop and enhance motor and social skills
And since your child is still a toddler, he or she may not have perfected the toilet training you started at home; in which case, a good infant-to-toddler preschool will also help the child with toilet training.
Finally, your choice of a preschool should also be able to put the FUN in learning to enhance your child’s first experience in school.