When should a child start school? Each school has its own norm leaving what is the age to start preschool confused and anxious. How early do parents start looking for schools for their toddlers? The time when parental anxiety over schooling sets in appears to be receding by the year, and now, it starts when the child just about turns one.
Though the department announced norms last January, both for kindergarten and Standard One, the order was altered midway leading to much confusion. Adding to the mess is the varying criteria adopted by the top city-based schools while offering admissions for pre-nursery. Admission age ranges from two years six months to three years 10 months depending on the school. Many managements and teachers say that parents request them to admit children young, citing that their child’s date of birth falls a few months short of the cut-off date. However, early childhood educators warn that both managements and parents should not enrol children into formal schooling before the age of four. During every admission season, parents plead with us to admit their child even though they are underage, as they fear that they may lose out on one year. But I explain to them that enrolling a child who is not ready for schooling would make it very difficult for the child to cope.