At what age should I send my child to preschool?

Ordinarily age three is the ideal time to start preschool. Children at this age are ready to expand their social horizons and are developmentally ready to take part in activities which require patience and cooperation. Parents of two year olds are better off saving their money because toddlers at this early age do better playing with one other child rather than interacting in a group.

Although children differ in their social readiness, a good rule of thumb is that a child should attend preschool as many days a week as they are years old. So a three year old might attend three half day sessions a week, a four year old four half days, and a five year old five half days.

Attending a half day preschool gives a young child just the right balance of arts and crafts, outdoor play, and pre-academics such as story and circle time. Unless you need to enroll your child in a full day program to accommodate your own schedule, don’t do it. Most all day programs include an afternoon nap which can be as long as a couple of hours. Although your child will likely need this rest, do you really want to pay for the time when your child is asleep?