Deciding to send your little one to a preschool can affect his/her entire educational journey. You want to make sure that you are doing the right thing. So how do you know if your child is ready? Look for the following signs:
- Observe his/her social, physical, emotional and cognitive development
- Do you think he can participate in a structured educational program with kids of his/her age group on a daily basis?
- Is he/she toilet trained?
- Is he/she independent? For example, can he/she wash his/her hands after having a meal without much assistance?
- Can he/she spend some time without you?
Talk to other people like your spouse, his/her doctor, others who are highly involved in his/her life like grandparents, nanny etc. to find out if he/she is ready. Take a look at the following site where Patricia Henderson Shimm, associate director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development in New York and co-author of Parenting Your Toddler, has provided these signs in detail:
A research by National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, suggests that children should not be sent to school before the age of four.
The reason being that before the age of four, a child only needs love and attention and not phonics and numbers. Parents need to train themselves to educate their children at home before sending them to school. For example, as a parent, if you feel sending your child at four years will be late and other kids would have learnt a lot more, homeschool your child. Teach him/her basic things at home. There is so much material available in the market while the internet is loaded with resources. One of the most popular sites that can help you with the step by step development of your child from birth till his/her teens:
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Prof. Dr. Rafaqat Ali Akbar, Chairman Department IER Punjab University, suggests using Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development to find out if a child should be sent to school or not. The theory explains how a child’s ability to think and reason develops. For example, infants develop a vision and hearing at an early stage. The child then learns to speak at the age of two and this learning continues till the age of seven.
If you are a working mother and there is no one to look after your child, you need to think, should I leave my job or send my child to a daycare? There are many good daycares in Pakistan and you can find a good one for your child. But is it worth it? Should you be away from your child at such an early age? On the positive side, many multinationals offer very flexible working schedules for mothers and some even have daycares within the office building. These options make life easier for mothers.
The government needs to support working mothers by offering facility like these. A child as young as two months needs his/her mother. Only a mother can nurture her child and make him/her feel loved. These emotions go a long way and eventually become the basis of the child’s self-esteem in later stages of life.
So when deciding to put your child in a preschool do analyze your individual situation. Every child is different and has different needs. Before enrolling your baby in a daycare do consider the following: “whatever I am earning for him/her is more important for his financial needs or is my availability for him/her more crucial for his emotional development?”