The decision to send a child to nursery is not one that parents take lightly. There are undeniably many benefits to nursery but only if a child is ready and knowing whether or not your child is ready can be difficult to establish. A childcare provider in Kew has put together the following information to help parents decide if it’s the right time to send their little one to nursery.
How does your child react when you leave them with another caregiver? Do they cling to you and cry, or do they tootle off confidently and wave you off at the door? It’s important that your child is comfortable being left with another supervisor for extended periods of time, otherwise they will struggle at nursery, especially in the early days. Practise as often as you can, even if they are just being left with another family member, starting off with small periods of separation and building it up. They need to feel confident that you will always come back.
Many nurseries have a “no touch” policy, meaning your child will need to be able to use the toilet independently. Again, this is something you can practise at home. It’s not uncommon for 3-year-olds to have occasional accidents, so don’t be concerned if this sometimes happens, but preparing your child as best you can will stand them in good stead.
How well does your child interact with other children their age? At nursery, they will need to be able to share and take turns, as the toys and equipment don’t belong to them like the toys at home. Be sure to plan lots of playdates in the run up to your child starting nursery so that they become more familiar with social interactions.
Give your child some achievable tasks to complete at home so that they start to become more independent, as well as confident in their abilities. At nursery, they may be expected to assist with simple tasks, so its certainly something to get them used to at home.
Ultimately there’s no right or wrong answer regarding the appropriate time to send your child to nursery. You have to do what’s right for your family, and if that means you need to return to work, or just free up some time for rest and personal pursuits, then don’t be put off by the advice of others. However, helping your child prepare for this new milestone is certainly worth the effort.