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Getting Your Child Ready for Pre-school

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 17 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
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If your child is coming up to the age where they’ll be going to pre-school, then here are some ideas and tips on getting them ready for the pre-school experience.

Children attend various different forms of pre-school when they’re aged between three and five years old. Pre-school learning and education environments can involve nurseries, day centres, children’s centres, playgroups, reception classes at primary schools or even going to a registered childminder. With all of the options, there are practical things you can do to ensure your child is ready to be at pre-school.

Toilet Training

One of the usual requirements by all types of pre-schools, is that children should be successfully toilet trained by the time they attend pre-school, so this is one area which you may need to work on to get your child ready. All children grow and develop at different rates, so whilst some children may fly through toilet training with ease, others may take a while longer.

If your child is still having toilet training problems when the time for pre-school is getting nearer, then have a chat to the teachers who’ll be running the pre-school. It may be nothing to worry about and some children take to it soon after going to pre-school, especially when they see the example set by other children.

Discipline and Behaviour

Children do need to have a degree of discipline and be able to respond well to instructions from a pre-school teacher, otherwise they may run into problems when they’re at pre-school. As a parent, you’re likely to also feel happier about your child if their behaviour is okay and they’re not regularly prone to throwing tantrums about the smallest of issues.

If you are having any discipline problems, then recognising it in advance may give you time to try and rectify the problems before your child goes to pre-school.

Being Left Without Parents

Young children take time to get used to being left somewhere without their parents staying and it is an ability they get used to as time goes by. However, it does help make the situation a bit easier if they’re relatively comfortable about this in advance of going to pre-school. Although pre-school sessions will only be for a set time and not all day, as school will be, it’s still a big change for some children to be their without a parent in attendance too.


As children will be at pre-school without their parents there too, they need to have a certain degree of communicative abilities, so they can communicate their needs verbally. This is especially important if they’re not feeling well or are having any problems, so they can communicate the issue to a responsible adult. But it also helps to be able to communicate well with the other children at pre-school and it can help them develop friendships.

If your child has any communication issues, then it would be advisable to try and work on them before he goes off to pre-school.

Reading and Writing

Although some reading and writing will be worked on at pre-school, it certainly helps if your child has a basic understanding of reading and writing. Again, this is a skill that you can work on at home with your child and help them be prepared and ready to face life at pre-school.

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