For many parents, the age their child starts nursery is determined by when they want (or need) to return to work. So, some children may start at a younger age than others.
However, there is not a set age and some children can end up starting much later. Getting ready to start nursery can be a daunting prospect for your child, so it’s important to ensure they are fully prepared.
Here are the key questions you need to ask to determine if your child is ready to start.
Are they independent?
A toddler can’t be expected to do everything on their own, but it is important they learn to gain a little bit of independence. Attending nursery requires children to have certain basic skills such as being able to wash their hands and eat their lunch without assistance.
While children will develop their independence at nursery, it is beneficial to have these basic skills before they start. A home is an ideal place for a child to learn to become independent and they can be taught these basic skills.
Can they spend time apart from you?
Another important question to ask yourself is whether your child has ever experienced any time apart from you and how they coped. If your child has been cared for by a babysitter or a relative, they will be better prepared for being apart from you.
If your child has never experienced any time apart, you may want to schedule in some time with a relative for the day. How they respond to this will be a good indicator if your child is ready or not.
Can they interact with other children?
At a nursery, your child will be required to interact with new children and adults. So, it’s important they have some basic social skills and are able to play with other children and participate in group activities.
Teaching your child to listen, share and be polite are all skills which will help them when interacting with others at nursery. Have a read of our blog for advice on how to improve social skills in toddlers.
Do they have the physical stamina?
With a schedule of activities and playtime, a full day at nursery requires a lot of physical and mental energy. So, it’s important to think about whether your child is ready for this.
Another thing to consider is when your child needs to nap. If they struggle to get through the morning without a nap then they may not be ready to start nursery yet.
Are they used to keeping a schedule?
When attending nursery, your child will follow a daily schedule with a set time for meals and snacks, playtimes and naps. So, if your child is not used to following a regular schedule, it may be worth implementing some routine in their day to get used to this.
This could start by offering mealtimes on a regular timetable, planning activities in the afternoon and then ending the day with a bedtime routine. Getting them used to a routine is a great way of preparing your child for nursery.
Little Angels Nursery 24/7
Whether it’s your first or third time, we understand that sending your child to nursery is hard. Once parents feel their children are ready to start with us, we aim to make settling into our nursery as easy as possible.
Whether you have a baby or a toddler, we offer a home away from home setting where children can spread their wings and develop into wonderful little individuals.
As part of our COVID-19 safety measures, we have introduced video call tours. If you would prefer to do an in-person tour, this will be done after hours and the premises will be cleaned after the viewing following the lift of the national lockdown.