One of the most important decisions parents have to take is when to start play school. It is the first time that the kid is exposed to the social environment. In India 2.5 years age is considered ideal to start with play school. But nowadays kids of age 21 months are even accepted by some playgroups.
Going with ideally set age is not an appropriate factor to decide when to start with playschool. You can start it when the child is 2 years old or even wait until he gets 3 years old.
What are the factors to consider before sending a child to play school?
The most important factor that forms the base of the decision is the readiness of the child. As each child is different and takes his time to reach different milestones of development, it is not right to generalize the decision based on what the set age is.
There are many factors to be considered before making this decision:
- The child should be able to verbally communicate and express himself. He should be able to tell any discomfort he is feeling and share his experiences with parents and convey his likes and dislikes. This way the teacher and parents are able to understand the child in a better way.
- The child should be independent enough to do the basic skills by himself such as eating, carrying his bag and toilet trained to some extent.
- The desire to explore new things in the surroundings and at home must be there. You should observe the curiosity and ability to focus on the child.
- The child must be comfortable with other children around the separation anxiety must be faded away. The child is comfortable to sleep alone for a few hours or with family members other than parents.
- The child should have a sense of confidence and must be able to do activities on his own.
- The child must have the ability to relate with other children.
- He must enjoy his time in outdoor activities like playing in the park, strolling in malls, etc.
- Must be able to interact with other children and teachers, so that he is comfortable for the length of school timings and does not feel uncomfortable due to separation.
- He must be able to understand and follow instructions given by teachers.
- Must understand the stories and enjoy the rhymes.
- The child is physically fit and be able to do activities like climbing, jumping or running.
Forcing the child to go to play school without his readiness causes emotional and psychological damage to his emotional health. It affects the child’s behaviour in long term. So watch out for these factors before deciding to start with play school.
What things I should watch out while deciding about playschool?
You should consider the following factors:
- The school hours must be short (2-3 hours).
- Interactive atmosphere.
- Hygiene in and around the school.
- A curriculum that focuses on overall development.
- Spacious outdoor area with required safety arrangements.
- Not too far from your home.
- Teacher to children ratio.
- Trained teachers.
- The meal chart.
These are a few things to be considered before choosing the play school. Apart from this ask friends and family about their recommendations and choose wisely.