Is My Child Ready for Nursery?

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Whether you’ve got one child or more, this question is one that pains many parents. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are as a parent, the desire to do your absolute best for your child will always be present and as a result, many parents are beset by doubts around this subject.

Children are so different in themselves, that you can’t judge a child until the time comes – the most outgoing and relaxed baby isn’t necessarily going to find nursery a breeze. Similarly, babies who are clingy or grumpy might thrive immediately in a nursery environment. The best indicators for whether your child is ready for nursery are as follows – just ask yourself these questions.

· Is my child potty-trained? Or even on the way to potty trained? If your child can reliably indicate before she or he needs to visit the toilet, then that’s a very good sign that they are nursery ready. It means they’ve matured enough both physically and cognitively to be able to communicate their needs and to understand their own bodies a little. If your child is late to learn, try not to worry. Speak to your nursery and ask for their advice.

· Can my child confidently approach others? Or are they very shy? Don’t worry too much if they are very shy – many children lose this tendency as they grow. It’s one of the reasons we send them to nursery.

· Does my child enjoy playing with other children? Not all children do! Especially the smallest. Some children take a little longer to learn the complexities of social interaction. Turn-taking and keeping control of their temper are the very basics and a nursery can help a child to get to grips with socialisation.

· Does my child speak well? Verbal skills are another which can vary hugely from child to child. Some children of three can speak clearly and in long sentences. Others might still be very limited. If you are worried about your child’s speaking skills, talk to your Health Visitor or GP before you enroll them. But it’s another area which can be greatly improved by attending nursery.

All children are different but one thing most of them have in common is a deep love of order. They may seem chaotic but children thrive on routine. They like knowing what comes next. Nursery provides that order and routine and children quickly learn how to manage in a shared space and to enjoy the systems in place. As this Montessori nursery in Twickenham teaches, children are resilient and thrive with shared responsibilities as well as shared learning opportunities.

Eating with other children, regular story and song times are all hugely enjoyable activities and when your child gets used to the new routine, you’ll find that they look forward to attending.