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desdi
desdi asks:
Q:

How old does a child need to be to start preschool?

In Topics: Choosing a preschool
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Candace_Lindemann
Jun 18, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Since children, and preschool programs, for that matter, are all unique, the answer will depend on your child's temperament and the type of preschool.  One size does not fit all and your child should start preschool when he or she is ready, attend for as many hours as suits your family needs, and enroll in a program that fits his or her temperament.

Many day care centers offer "preschool" programs for two year old children that only differs slightly from their programs for those two and under.

At age two, many children will be ready to follow simple instructions and start learning skills like taking turns or playing simple games.

Teaching more "academic" skills, such as a more formal introduction to reading, writing, and mathematics, usually waits until at least three years' old.  And many children are not ready for formal education until four or five years' old.

Preschool may be as little a few hours a week to a full-day program, five days a week.

Also, preschool education is not necessarily a requirement. Recent studies suggest that preschool does not have the benefits previously thought.  Students who do not attend preschool seem to do as well and perhaps even better than those who do.  Quality programs may, however, have certain lasting benefits.

If you are concerned about socialization, you may find that "Mommy and Me" or library programs fulfill that need.

Every family and child has different needs, so it is really up to the parents to decide at what age their child should attend preschool, if at all.

And with so many styles of programs available, from more traditional academic classes that focus on kindergarten preparedness, to music-focused classes, to programs that emphasize play, to "separation" programs (where the parent can leave when the child seems ready), to Montessori, to Waldorf, and everything in between, you should be able to find one that suits your child's temperament.

The important thing is that any program you select for your child should be a fit for your child and your family.
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Additional Answers (3)

kellysfinn
kellysfinn , Parent writes:
Hi there,

As this article explains, http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Whats_Right_Time/, "Most preschools offer programs beginning at age two, but just because your child is 2 1/2 doesn't mean that he is ready,” says Caren Gans, Director of T’enna Preschool in Palo Alto, California. “Ask yourself the following questions: Is my child fairly independent, i.e. has he spent time away from you and can he accomplish small tasks on his own? Is he ready to participate in social situations? In other words, has he had playdates, or mommy and me experiences where he has been successful in being engaged with other children? Readiness for preschool really has less to do with age, and more to do with where your child is developmentally."

Check out our preparing your child for preschool section to learn more.

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mml98
mml98 writes:
it depends some preschools have differnt classes for differt age groups my brother started when he was a toddler now he can sing his ABC's an d can reconize all the ABC letters an d he can count to 100. HE is only 5!!!!!!!!
> 60 days ago

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dhaase
dhaase writes:
what age does a child start preschool
> 60 days ago

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