When to Start Preschool?

What’s the best age for my child to start preschool?
Save article
ByCindy H. Liu, PhD, clinical and developmental psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Psychologist
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image

Most preschools accept kids as young as age two and go through age six. But determining if and when your child should join them is sort of like asking what the “best” age is to get married or have a baby: It’s an individual decision, and there’s no single answer. There are a number of considerations to keep in mind.

First off, ask yourself why you are doing this. Is it because you want your child to get as much learning in as early as possible? Do you have a younger child in the house and want the older one to get some attention outside the home? Or do you just need a break? (By the way, that isn’t a bad thing.) Resolving these issues can help you decide if you want your child to start schooling outside the house sooner rather than later.

Maybe most important is your child’s own readiness. Is she okay with saying goodbye,  being away from you and being away from home? If she’s really anxious, you may be better off waiting a year or so until she’s more comfortable. In the meantime, you can enroll her in “mommy and me” classes.

Also, find out what the rules are. Some preschools have prerequisites, like being  potty trained and going without a midday nap. Remember, too, that your child will be in school soon enough, so it’s okay to wait a little bit and enjoy some extra time together before starting school.

Plus, More from The Bump:

Related Video
Save article

Celebrate Halloween With a Star-Studded Sesame Street Special

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
10/27/2020

The Pandemic Is Taking a Toll on Kids’ Mental Health, Survey Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
10/09/2020

Meet the 2-Year-Old Who Found a New Best Friend in Benny, the Skeleton

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
09/30/2020

Disneyland Unveils Beautiful Mural Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
09/28/2020

How to Teach Independence?

Jeanette Sawyer Cohen, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City
Pediatric Psychologist

Loss of a Pet Can Greatly Affect Young Kids’ Mental Health, Study Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
09/15/2020

Channing Tatum Is Coming Out With His First Children’s Novel

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
09/01/2020

Hasbro Pulls Trolls Doll Amidst Complaints of Inappropriate Sensor Feature

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
08/07/2020

17 Book With Plush Sets to Bring Storytime to Life

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

How to Talk to Young Kids About Death

Lisa Milbrand
Contributing Writer

When Will Baby's Personality Emerge?

Lisa Milbrand
Contributing Writer
Article removed.