Choosing a preschool

Learn how to choose the right preschool program for your little one.

Learning Stages

By Candace Lindemann

Children's Author & Education Consultant

Candace Lindemann is a published children’s writer and educational consultant. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can also find Candace blogging at While Candace’s degrees prepared her for a career in education, she’s found that the best preparation for parenting is on-the-job training.

There's no need to rush your toddler off to preschool if having him at home works for you. If you are interested in starting a preschool program, your toddler may be ready if he:

  • Pays attention in circle time
  • Follows simple directions
  • Shows an interest in playing with other children
  • Understands basic rules (such as no hitting and no biting)
  • Is curious about music, letters, numbers and shapes
  • Is comfortable being away from you

Do your research to find a program that is a good fit. Ask how disciplinary situations are handled, what rules there are, whether or not your child needs to be potty trained, how much time is spent at desks versus in physical activities, how open-ended the art and play activities are, what the rules are about food in the classroom, and anything else that is on your mind. Do not make any assumptions and feel free to ask as many questions as you like. Make sure you can observe a few minutes of a class in action before you sign your child up.