There is definitely no perfect moment to put your child into childcare. It very much depends on your working needs and your family schedule. Your child’s age, personality and the extent of their experiences of spending time apart from you, can also affect your decision. However there are some guidelines as to what can affect your child when starting Nursery School
Readiness for Nursery School based on Age
Although there is no exact science in defining the appropriate age for Nursery School, there are some pieces of information that can help you to make an informed decision as to when it is best for your child that you enrol them:
Newborns to 18 Months of Age
Babies up to the age of 18 months are not usually too worried about who takes care of them, as long as their needs are met. However, they may develop separation anxiety as of 8 to 12 months of age and may take time to trust new carers, so it is possible that they will find going into childcare difficult at first. As long as you can find an effective Nursery School that provides several members of staff for a low ration of children in this age group, your baby is more likely to be happy.
Toddlers (18 months to 3 years old)
Nursery Schools are an excellent childcare option for children in this age group, who are naturally curious and usually love to socialise. As Toddlers are exploring their world, they need a safe environment to play in, lots of diverse activities to experience and the security that they are in good hands. As most Nursery Schools have a high ratio of staff to children in this age group, Toddlers generally feel free to follow their needs for activity, in a safe and secure environment.
Preschoolers (3-5 years old)
Children in this group usually embrace going to Nursery School head on, especially if they have had some other experience of day care previously. Nursery School provides eager preschoolers with the opportunity to practise language skills, socialise, and build peer relationships. They experience numerous new activities and have the opportunity to further develop existing skills, as well as learn new ones.
Readiness based on Child’s Personality
There are several factors that can help you analyse your child’s personality and how that affects their readiness for Nursery school. Answer the following questions in order to evaluate your child’s personality and their readiness:
Is your child confident? Do they make friends fairly easily?
Is your child comfortable in a setting that is noisy?
Is your child used to being around children is or her own age?
Is your child physically active?
Does your child seem curious around new experiences? Do they like to try new activities?
Is your child potty trained?
Does your child display good social skills for his / her age? (Such as sharing, language skills, etc..)
Has your child ever spent frequent periods of time away from you?
Can your child understand and follow instructions?
Can your child switch easily from one activity to another?
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