If you’re a parent in Singapore, one of the key decisions you’ve to make is when and where to enroll your child for early education.
The early childhood care and education (ECCE) landscape in Singapore has continued to change over the years.
Preschool isn’t mandatory in the country, but both public and private investment in these programs continue to grow. The quality of preschools in the country continues to improve with international schools dominating the sector.
But how do you know when your child is ready for enrolment? This post discusses some factors to know if your child is ready for preschool.
Is My Child Ready for Preschool? The Things to Note
- Child’s Age/Development
- Child’s Character/Independence
- Positive Attitude Towards School
- School Readiness Milestones
Preschools in the country broadly include half-day/full-day care programs and kindergarten preschool education. The age of preschool entry starts from about 3 years, though some programs accept children younger than this. While age is the main determinant of enrolling your child in early childhood schooling, other factors come into play.
For many parents, the need to go back to work makes preschool an important aspect of parenting. However, a parent who’s not in a hurry to go back to work might delay school for their child. Now that this stage of schooling isn’t mandatory, you have the freedom to choose the age at which to enroll them.
Another important consideration is the growth and development of your child. If your child has no developmental problems such as illnesses, you’ll be more comfortable finding a school for them. A child who has growth problems requires more attention and as a parent, you’ll be more comfortable staying longer with them.
Children at the early stages of development require a lot of assistance with most of the things they need. If your child is fairly independent, then you can comfortably start the search for a preschool. international schools provide an environment where children can thrive through interactions. If your child is able to handle their basic hygiene tasks, they might be ready for preschool.
Before you start the search for a school, confirm the type of assistance offered to the child. A prep school that offers tailored assistance to children is best suited for you. Ask about issues like potty training and other areas you think your child needs assistance. If you have a special needs child, talk to the school before enrolment to guarantee the support your child needs.
Another important consideration is your child’s character. If the child is outgoing and easily interacts with others, early school is a great idea.
Consider how your child reacts when alone with strangers. Some children require acclimatization to trust other people outside the family circle. If, for instance, you have observed your child comfortably interact with other kids, they’re ready for preschool.
An independent character makes it easier for your child to settle into the new learning environment. If you have noticed your child working on projects on their own, it’s time to promote their learning curiosity.
Positive Attitude Towards School
Ask your child about school or the idea of interacting with other children to learn. If you have the opportunity to talk about other children that go to school, use the chance.
Most children are receptive to the idea of a place where they have agemates to spend time with. Of course, the child might love the idea of play and fun but these activities also promote learning.
Some children will start crying the moment the idea of schooling comes up. You have to do more to promote your child’s independence. For instance, you can start leaving the child behind with someone else or allow them more time to interact with other children. The idea is to create trust with other people outside the family circle.
School Readiness Milestones
Before accepting a child for enrolment, most preschools evaluate the child to determine their readiness. The process is important to ensure the child fits naturally in the learning environment. The last thing you want is to rush your child to a structured environment when they aren’t ready for the big move.
School readiness milestones that indicate your child is ready for school may include:
- Sensory development: Your child should have developed the ability to use touch, see, and hear well. touching, seeing, and hearing are things they use in the learning setup at a preschool program. The sensory development skills are crucial for your child to explore and understand the world around them.
- Behavioral development: The behavior of your child should make the learning process easy. Some important developmental milestones include communicating emotions, following instructions, controlling impulses and emotions, focusing and paying attention, making friends, collaborations/cooperation, taking turns, showing feelings for others, and resilience.
- Early learning skills. Your child is ready for preschool if they exhibit language, literacy, and math skills. Confirm if your child can talk, listen, and understand numbers, shapes, or solve problems.
The decision you make about your child’s early education is critical in your child’s life. Is your child ready and what’s the best quality institution for them? With these tips, you have a guidebook to tell when your child is ready.
Before you enroll them at any school, make sure the institution offers a child-centered curriculum, has licensed teachers, a safe/playful environment, personalized learning activities, and the highest standards of learning.