Every new stage of your child’s life is exciting, but there’s something special about reaching child care age. It’s the first step in their formal education journey. The tricky bit of this equation is that not every child reaches preparedness at the same age. Every parent wants to make the right decision for their child so, while experts can suggest twelve months, you know that might not be true for your little one. How do you know when your child is ready for child care? Here are five signs to back it.
1. Independence Level
Does your child sit or walk without assistance? Can they play on their own and with others without the need for constant supervision? Do they attempt to form words rather than try to communicate through reactions, cries, or angry grunts? Do they express themselves through play? All of these signify a level of independence and should give you a good idea as to whether they’re ready for child care or not.
2. Taking Direction
Toddlers aren’t always quick to listen, but yours should be able to take simple directions as this will help them when attending child care. If you have to repeat yourself constantly to get a reaction from your toddler, that’s something you might want to work on before enrolling them. Your child doesn’t need to perfectly behave all the time, but simple instructions should be in their wheelhouse. There is one slight issue; children often listen to others quicker than they do their own parents. Enlist the help of a friend to see how they react to instructions from someone else when you’re out of the room.
3. Relaxed Play
How long does your toddler sit still for? Before heading off to child care, you might consider putting them to the test. Toddlers famously don’t sit still; they have busy little bodies, but they should manage a few minutes at a time. Luckily, this is something you can practice by sitting with them through a story, a song, or even a video.
4. Potty Trained
This will, of course, depend on the child care centre that you choose. However, many will expect your child to be fully potty trained or at least in training before they are admitted to their centre. If your child can vocalise their need to go and do so with minimal help, they are more than ready for child care.
5. Emotional Readiness
How does your little one respond to being away from you now? Whether it’s spending time with a babysitter or with family, this should give you an insight into their emotional readiness. It isn’t just your little one that requires emotional readiness; parents also need to be ready to drop their child off and leave. This can be challenging for parents who have stayed at home with their children up until this point.
Parents need to keep their emotions in check as not to rub off on the child. One of the best ways for you to keep your emotions in check is finding the right child care centre for you and your family.
Whether you live in Northgate or anywhere else in Australia, if you’re looking for a local childcare centre, you will find a plethora of options available. There are solid benefits to sending your children to child care, from future academic achievement to socialisation. It isn’t a question of if they should go; it’s a question of when is the right time for your little one?