Is 18-months the right age to start preschool?
The big question that is keeping many parents of toddlers in Singapore up at night!
While there is a fair share of young parents in Singapore who are ardent believers that toddler programmes and baby classes in preschools can do a great deal of good to their young ones’ development, there is the opposite camp that frowns upon the idea of sending a teeny tot to school.
If you find yourself in this dilemma, perhaps a good starting point will be to ask yourself why this is a huge concern to you.
Is it because you think by sending your child to school you are depriving them of their childhood?
It is a common worry among parents, that by popping their little one into preschool too early they are ruining what could be a carefree and happy childhood. On the contrary, a good preschool and toddler group environment will enrich your kids’ childhood.
Young children have curious minds, boundless mental and physical energy and an inclination to explore and try new things. There is only so much parents can do at home and during play dates to nurture this energy and inclinations.
Imagine the possibilities for the child when they are placed in a productive environment surrounded by other kids their age, with well-thought-out and engaging activities, tools and guidance from professional educators! Kids could continue to engage in play but only it will be more purposeful and meaningful to their growth!
But of course, it is important that you pick a preschool that is able to deliver the right programme for your child.
Do you think your child is way too young to be learning?
Children are born with an innate desire to learn (think of learning as something that stretches beyond the books) and in the toddler years they are intrigued by their observations of the world and are seeking explanations and information. That is the reason they are quick to ask you why someone has different coloured skin from them, why the sky is blue and so on.
Do not let this desire and curiosity go to waste!
A well-tailored toddler programme will be able to tap into this desire to learn and help your children discover knowledge in a fun and enjoyable way.
Do you worry about your child experiencing separation anxiety?
Going into a new place and having to spend a couple of hours away from you could very well make your child feel a bit of separation anxiety and warrant a meltdown and that is completely normal. However, they might, in all likelihood feel that way even when going to school at an older age.
If anything, the toddler years are probably a good time to get them started on being independent in this regard; there will be a smaller teacher to student ratio in their class, allowing them to get more undivided attention from the teachers when they are still coping with being in a new place. Also, trust that your child is not the first one to experience separation anxiety and toddler educators are adept at helping the child cope with these feelings.
Ready to send your little one to preschool but not sure where to start the search? Join our preschool Open House to witness firsthand what a day in the life of a preschooler looks like!