What do children need to know before preschool? Just wanting to know, my daughter is 16 months (so it will be awhile)

Brittney - posted on 02/20/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )




My 16 month old can say over 50+ words, knows her colors, shapes, and is starting to learn her ABC's and numbers.

I would just like to know what other things preschoolers have to know before they can be enrolled. I know I have a lot of time, I just want to know because its been quite awhile since I was in preschool.


Darlene - posted on 02/22/2012




You have been told right, most children are required to know shapes, colors, some symbols and most words. When my daughter started K... she was versed in all aspects and a few others, as I worked with her each day. She started K on her 5th B-day and her teacher did not think she was ready... after two months, my daughter superseeded all children in her class. I chalked it up to her being taught at home. Once she finished 1st grade, I decided to home school her for several reasons. The most important one was because children can learn more from a one on one basis than from any regular school because they have that "One on One" attention. The most important education they could ever have.

Do what you can at home, that is the most important education of all.

Tammy - posted on 02/20/2012




Absolutely nothing.

My daughter barely spoke in unintelligible two word sentences, couldn't count past 3 and the alphabet was a mystery to her. She couldn't drink from a cup, only with a straw, not to mention her complete lack of desire to be toilet trained and she was a month past her third birthday when she started at a top rated private preschool.

That's what preschool is for; to teach your child.

Now, almost 6 months later, my daughter doesn't stop talking and in clear complex sentences; and what a vocabulary! She can sing the alphabet and many other songs, write her name and all the names of her classmates and count to 30! She has learned to ride a bicycle even! Toilet training is still an issue with her, but her teacher and our family are working with her and encouraging her with some nice rewards.

Janice - posted on 02/21/2012




Unless it is a "prestigious" pre-school the only requirement is typically being potty trained. Pre-school gets children ready for kindergarten. So before age 5 they need to know the alphabet, colors, shapes, and how to count to 20. Preschool should teach all this, plus help a child learn how to behave in a group setting. This is the norm for where I live in upstate NY

[deleted account]

It depends on the preschool. A lot of the preschools around here actually do have requirements--the applicants usually take a test and do an interview with a teacher and one other member. The test and interviews are mostly centered on play and social interaction.

I think by 3, they want them to know their numbers and values up to about 10, but most don't care if they can count--basically be able to put a "7" by a card with 7 dots on it. They like them to be able to identify the letters lower and upper case, but not write, read or put them in order. Basic colors and shapes go without saying.

The biggest things they look for are the ability to play with others, share, and self direct--they want to see the child play on her own without direction. This shows a willingness to explore and learn.

Not all preschools have requirements--the government funded ones have to accept anyone who applies until they are full, lower income and students with learning difficulties get first dibs because it is a free program. While it is a great program, I would not put an average child in a government preschool as they would likely be bored since the program target kids who are behind--Their goal is to make sure everyone is on the same plane by kindy or first grade, so kids who are not behind will be bored learning along side those who are.

On the other hand, some preschools have very high requirements, and I would not like J in those either because they seem to focus in one area rather than focus on a well rounded curriculum that opens kids up to various areas of study and lets them choose. If you go to a language preschool and your kid likes building, he's not going to be happy, even if it is a great school. You know?

Joy - posted on 02/20/2012




Where I'm planning to send my daughter (Montessori), they want the kids potty trained -or mostly potty trained by 3 years old. I think that's the only requirement they have for preschool.

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Brittney - posted on 02/21/2012




Thank-you, potty training is done, so I don't even have to worry about that. Thanks for your responses!

Sarah - posted on 02/20/2012




The only thing most preschools require is for them to be potty trained.

The first year of preschool is primarly focused on social skills. Learning to share and take turns. Learning to sit quitely when asked and learning to stay in the spot where the teacher wants you until directed else where. Learning to follow in line and not budge in front of your neighbor. These are such important skills because without them students can't learn well and teachers can't teach well.

[deleted account]

I used to teach preschool, at a long day care in syd aust. We used to have kids with no English and/or who'd never been away from their prents before, who were barely toilet trained (even at 4 years old) and who could't drink from an open cup or feed themselves. Talk to the centre you want her to attend, but there shouldn't be any problem.

Jenni - posted on 02/20/2012




I've never heard about requirements for preschool? Is that the same as junior kindergarten? 3-4 year olds?

Your daughter sounds very advanced already. I do think it's advantage to know their numbers, colours, letters (sounds they make, shapes. And I think it's probably important to have a basic understanding of these fundamental concepts. But I believe these are the things they learn in junior kindergarten. Or are polished up on. They also begin to write letters and learn to spell their name. So a basic understanding is helpful but not a requirement I assume.

Just keep with it. My son learned all these things by 2 years but forgot a lot of his letters and numbers (visually identify) between the ages of 2-3 yrs. But it didn't take long for him to relearn them. He starts JK in sept. So we're doing a little prep work before school. He starts french immersion so the extra home prep will be even more important with the introduction of a second language.

My SD is in JK and is struggling a bit with numbers and letters. I try working with her but we only have her here every other weekend. So she's been a year and half behind my younger son when it comes to her knowledge of colours, letters, numbers. We just got her report card and it is concerning. But she had very little understanding of numbers and letters going into JK.

Your daughter sounds like she is already ahead of the game. Just keep learning fun and part of her daily routine. :)

Bonnie - posted on 02/20/2012




Preschool helps kids get ready for school. That is the purpose of it.

It is not a requirement to be able to start school either. Although, i'm sure if it was a requirement, then yes, there would probably be things a child would need to know.

Brittney - posted on 02/20/2012




I was just wondering because I had to know my alphabet and colors, shapes, and numbers before I could go to preschool. I didn't know if they changed it or not. But thank you!

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