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Preschool Age Requirements

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Preschool age requirements will vary from school to school, and often, from state to state. This means that the California preschool age requirements can vary from those in Ohio. While most consider preschool to be appropriate for children ages three to five, there is an emotional maturity component that only parents can truly determine. As such, some programs start at age three and some at age four, depending on whether the program offers a one year or a two year preschool curriculum. If you’re still trying to determine whether you should enroll your child in preschool or keep them at home until kindergarten, learning a little more about the preschool and kindergarten age requirements, the typical enrollment process, and the benefits of a preschool education could help you make your decision.

Preschool Enrollment

Enrollment in a preschool program usually takes place in the spring before the child would start school. If the preschool starts in August or September, for example, then the enrollment is probably in February, March, or April. However, most preschool age requirements are set up so that the child attending has to be a certain age by a certain date and this date is usually in September or October, regardless of when the preschool enrollment period actually begins. Further, some preschool programs have a requirement that the child be potty trained and others don’t.

Preschool Costs

Some preschools start at age two, but this is not generally the norm and the schools that start this young are usually private preschools. Fees are sometimes required for these private preschool programs. Some preschools offer financial assistance, while other private preschools have an application fee plus tuition fees. Other programs, such as Head Start programs, are run by the government and have no fees. However, children are accepted according to the family’s income in such public programs. The preschool age requirements for Head Start and most other preschool programs mandate that the child be three years old or older.

Preparing Children

Parents who wish to assist their kids in being prepared to begin preschool may wish to talk to the children long before the first day of preschool comes. Let the kids know what some of the activities are in preschool and tell the kids how much fun preschool will be. To help kids adjust to preschool, have a simple routine during the day. If a child has not spent a lot of time away from his or her parents, scheduling time with babysitters, grandparents, or close friends may be beneficial so the child can learn to enjoy time away.

Preschool age requirements are only part of deciding when a child is actually ready to begin school, as every child is different. Even if a child is old enough to start preschool according to the school’s requirements, it is also important to make sure he or she is emotionally ready. Going to school marks a milestone in a child’s life and his or her world changes overnight. Preschool age children often have a hard time adjusting to these changes.

Benefits of Preschool

Although it can be just as difficult for some parents be away from their children as it is for the child, attending preschool can provide the social foundation that will serve him or her well in years to come. Even if your child has brothers or sisters, the preschool experience can provide them with the unique opportunity to begin developing their social skills on their peers. In many cases, children who grow comfortable with the social component of school during their formative years will have an easier time juggling the demands of friendships and learning once grades enter the picture.

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