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Is your child ready for preschool?

Age isn’t the only indicator of when to start formal schooling.

Article Author: Juice Staff

Article Date:

a preschool child and teacher
Your role as parent and teacher will continue to influence your child throughout his or her academic career.

As a parent, you are your child’s first, and perhaps most important, teacher. Here’s why: Research shows 85% of brain development takes place before the age of 3, and 90% by age 5. The foundation for your child’s future success in school and life begins at home.

“You can help your child learn from their very first day of life,” said Ashley Hart-McGlynn, BCBA, a behavior analyst with Baptist Behavioral Health. “Simple activities like reading to your baby or child, singing songs and playing games together can help the young brain develop.”

From crawling to the classroom

While you undoubtedly enjoy this special time with your little one, the time will come to send him or her to a more structured learning environment. So, how do you know when it’s time to transition from a home or daycare setting to preschool?

“This typically occurs sometime between ages 2 and 4, but it really depends on the specific child more than age alone,” said Hart-McGlynn. “Your child may be ready for preschool if he or she has good social interaction, a developing vocabulary, knows basic colors and numbers and meets developmental milestones on time.”

Choosing the right program

But how do you know which preschool program is the right one for your family? There are a lot of factors to consider, such as cost, location, accreditation, teacher qualifications, safety and even forms of discipline.

“It’s important for parents to do their research about the various preschool curriculums,” Hart-McGlynn said. “Some focus on academics while others prioritize social and emotional development, manners and etiquette. Think about your child’s personality along with his or her strengths and weaknesses to determine which environment will help your child thrive.”

Whichever preschool program you choose, know that you’re setting the stage for your child to benefit from a lifetime of learning. Your role as a parent and teacher will continue to influence your child throughout his or her academic career.

Tips for early learning

Want to set your little one up for learning success but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips:

  • Talk, read and sing with your child every day.
  • When reading with your child, have him or her turn the pages. Take turns labeling pictures.
  • Talk about colors, shapes and numbers you see while out and about together.

Concerned about your child’s development?

Don’t delay reaching out to a professional. Your child’s pediatrician can discuss missed or late milestones and whether any evaluations may be beneficial. To find the right pediatrician for your family, call 904.202.4YOU or fill out the appointment request form.

Find a pediatrician near you

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