Sending Your Child to Preschool

Preschool is available for 3- to 5-year-old children in most communities. Many parents consider sending their child to preschool at this age, although they often wonder whether preschool is really necessary. If they believe it is, they want their child to be emotionally ready and adequately prepared.

While preschool is not necessary for later success in school, it can have a variety of social and educational benefits for children. Child-development experts recommend that all children, by 3 years of age, spend time regularly with other kids of the same age. Although some children are already experiencing this through group day care, either in a home setting or at a day-care center, preschools provide another option for formal interaction. Preschools give children an opportunity to socialize, and to develop skills that will help prepare them for kindergarten and elementary-school success, such as listening, talking, sharing, being patient and following instructions.

Most children are socially and physically ready for preschool around 3 years of age, but every child is different. Here are some suggestions for gauging your child's readiness for preschool and helping him prepare for the experience.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »