Kulkarni also explains that schools do all they can to make the little ones feel comfortable and at home. For example, some schools let the children call the teachers ‘auntie’ informally rather than ‘miss’, to put them more at ease. Teachers are cheerful and approachable and seen as parent-like figures.
Finally, choose the preschool wisely. Ensure that it has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and friendly teachers who are cheerful and lovingly help your child settle in. At this tender age, the child needs love and lots of hugs, not strict discipline and rules! And even if your child cries for a week or two, or a month, don’t worry too much. He will eventually settle into preschool and start enjoying it.
To send or not to send:
What if I don’t send my child to preschool? Is it okay if I put him directly into kindergarten at the age of four? “Your child definitely won’t be at a disadvantage. It’s just that preschool provides your child with a lot of necessary skills and develops his motor and social capabilities. Also, many young mothers don’t really know what to do with their children if they are at home all the time, and as a result, the child ends up watching too much TV. Abroad, children start school as late as four years old, but that’s because they have separate activity centres that provide this stimulation which is essential for their growth. Most parents in India feel that it might be the best option to do preschool first and then nursery and then LKG, which starts at 4. However, even if you choose not to follow this path, your child can manage just fine in kindergarten.” – Laxmi Kulkarni “I mainly chose to enroll my daughter, first in the mother-toddler programme and then in preschool, because I wanted her to interact with other children. I feel that preschool is very important because it helps enhance the socialisation process of the child at that age.”
– Rachana Thapar, Mumbai, with one pre-schooler