By Daniel Curry
Many new parents, and even experienced parents, have questions about the right time to admit their child in pre-nursery or nursery school. Each family’s situation is different, and all children are different. However, there are some guidelines to keep in mind.
What is the right age for school?
First, there are government standards for the age of children entering school.
To enter pre-nursery: Age 2 years by 31st March
To enter nursery: Age 3 years by 31st March
These are minimum ages, and will naturally result in some children just missing the deadline. There are also family pressures of working families who need care for their children during the day. Finally, there are also pressures based on fear that their child will fall behind if not entered into school as soon as possible.
Things to look for in a school
These decisions should be made with the individual child in mind. What are the needs of the child and what are the expectations of the purpose of pre-nursery, nursery and kindergarten? Parents should look for the Best Schools in Gurgaon that have progressive pedagogies providing individual attention and focus. The goal is to develop each child’s skills with a focus on interpersonal relationships, collaboration, empathy, and other values. Children develop their gross motor and fine motor skills in engaging and fun activities that create a positive connection to school.
Never pressurise young children to learn
Nursery schools that push rote learning or force young children to hold pencils and write before they are ready can do damage and create a fear and dislike of school. Children at this age are impressionable and should have the best start possible. This holds true for all young children, be it Pre primary school, nursery school, kindergarten and in general across primary school.
Admit children on the older end of their age group
In general, young girls develop the ability to sit still and engage in formal school activities before young boys do. I recommend that boys enter pre-nursery or nursery school on the older end of their age group. However, this can be mitigated in schools that have open environments and don’t force children to sit still and be quiet all day.
Social emotional needs are more important than academic needs, especially for young children
Outcomes for children in pre-nursery, nursery and even kindergarten should be understood by parents to be social-emotional in nature, with growing exposure to academics. This is a critical time that determines how students feel about school, how they feel about their abilities, and how they see themselves in the context of their surroundings.
Late is better than early, and slow is better than fast
Education isn’t a race, and pushing a child to enter pre-nursery or nursery school before they are ready is counter productive. Waiting later than the government minimum may be best for your child. Don’t worry that they will be behind. By admitting them at the right time, they will grow rapidly and enjoy their experience. This leads to long-term success and positions them for a great academic career.
Top Gurgaon schools are likely to help parents think through these decisions while admitting their children.
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