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Preschooler Age Is Your Child Ready for Preschool

Preschooler Age: Is Your Child Ready for Preschool

Our policymakers have attached great importance to determining the right preschooler age. Because it is proved that the early years of a child’s life are an opportunity to foster holistic development. Multiple studies/researches have proved that early childhood years are crucial for a child’s cumulative brain development.

Here’s a look at some of the related facts:

  • A child’s brain development starts during the 3rd week of gestation.
  • The initial 1000 days of a child’s life i.e. the time between conception to the 2nd birthday is critical to lay the foundation of optimum development (neurodevelopment and growth).
  • Our human brain’s cognitive functions are at the peak of their growth between the age of 1 and 3 (even before school education starts i.e. before the nursery age).
  • Children who attend preschool tend to perform better at the later stages.

In India, most of us do acknowledge the significance of early childhood. But at the same time, little knowledge is dangerous. And some parents take the wrong decision to make their kid an early starter!

Brain Development in child

What is the Best Age for Preschool?

According to the National Education Policy 2020, a child must complete 3 years of age before he/she enters a preschool/Anganwadi/Balvatika. The next stage of formal education starts from 6 years and above, wherein the child enters class/grade 1. At this point, all Indian students are covered under the Right to Education (RTE Act 2009).

Despite the government’s clarity on the preschooler age, there are many open points that create ambiguity.

Do you know that in India, around 1/5th of the students under the age of 6 years were enrolled in class 1?

Yes! A leading news journal highlighted that around 90% of the children between the age groups of 4 -8 years were enrolled in some educational institution. This clearly means that the kids are starting with formal education at an age that is much below the defined range.   

Percentage of children between 4-8 enrolled in educational institution | Preschooler age

Clearly, most of us get puzzled by the question, what age is a preschooler?

Let’s figure out some answers today.

What is the Right Preschooler age in India?

The Indian government has emphasized keeping the right preschooler age group at 3 years (quality preschool education). And the age of admission in class 1 is already fixed at 6 years. This means that a child should be sent to a preschool when he/she has completed 3 years.

How Many States Follow the Minimum Age for Play School in India?

In India, reports have shown that there is a huge disparity in terms of adhering to this preschooler age related rule. Only 21 states follow the minimum age rule of 6 years. And 9 others (names are mentioned in the table below)  are not still not following this ground rule.

  • Delhi
  • Goa
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Rajasthan
  • Puducherry
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand

Clearly, there is a lot of ambiguity regarding the appropriate nursery age group. Because some schools follow the 3-year pattern. But many others have a 4-year pattern (Pre-Nursery, Nursery, Lower Kindergarten, and Upper Kindergarten). For some children, the right preschool age is as per the defined rules. However, some others may not have the readiness even by the age of 4 years.

Let’s understand how to check if your child is ready for a traditional/online preschool.

When to Start Preschool?

Basic Communication Skills

At the pre nursery age, your child will be away from you for a purpose. Always remember that your child must understand basic language. Because only then he/she will be able to understand instructions in a preschool.

The preschool teachers/caregivers/staff members should also be able to understand the child’s speech. So always ensure that your child has reached the basic level of speech clarity to determine the right preschool age.

Physical Stamina

The next important aspect that you need to watch out for is the child’s physical development and stamina to be in school and perform activities. Even if the child has reached kindergarten age, it does not mean that he/she has the gross and fine motor skills to pull off all the activities in a school. Do not get confused between skill development and sharpening. Because a preschool will be able to hone your child’s skills only if he/she has already acquired some bit of these.

Anxiety Issues

Most kids in the nursery age group face separation anxiety. And you must start working on it even before you prepare the child for preschool classes. Tell the child how much fun he/she will have in these classes. And remember once you reach the school, do not stay there with the child for a very long time. For parents, who struggle with this challenge, an online school can be a great choice. You can check the functionalities of the best online preschools and see if can work for you.


If you have managed to make your child somewhat self-sufficient (like putting on clothes, combing hair, and using the toilet- potty training), you can consider a preschool for the pre nursery age. This also includes some vocabulary building. Because with the ability to communicate your child will be more confident to express and present him/herself in the school.


Another pre-check that you must keep in mind while determining the right nursery age group is that the child should be able to enjoy the company of others. At the school, your child will play and collaborate with other kids. All this should be joyous. And if this sign is visible in your kid, consider this as the right stage of preschool readiness.  

Work in Schedules

In most traditional/online schools, the preschool age group has a set schedule. This includes a dedicated time for play, snacking, art, craft, music, lunch break, etc. Before you enroll your child in a preschool, see to it that he/she is capable of working in schedules. The simplest way to do this is to follow some schedules at home initially. This will help your kid to get along with the school’s schedule easily.

Check for Problems/Disorders

Do you know that developmental delays can lead to disabilities?


These delays (like speech, cognitive, language, motor, and emotional, etc.) need immediate attention. Failing which, these can be the cause of a disability.

Back in the year 2013, 6% of our Indian children were born with birth defects. 10% were affected by developmental delays. And all this impacted 15 lakh newborn babies every year. If you find a slightest challenge with your child’s development in any area whatsoever, do seek a professional’s advice before finalizing a preschool.

Disorders in Indian children


Some kids can also feel angry or disinterested while learning something new. Your child has reached the right preschool age group only when he/she is motivated and happy to learn new things. Try to understand what makes the child happy. And work on building some intrinsic motivation before rushing for preschool admission.

Before we end this article, let us give you some quick tips about selecting the right preschool for your child:

Quick Tips for Selecting a Perfect Preschool:

  • Safety and security (verification process at the time of entering the school, restrictions to access the classrooms, management for keeping dangerous items out of reach of the children, etc.)
  • Class size and student-teacher ratio
  • Location
  • Faculties
  • Quality of teachers
  • Curriculum
  • Channels for communication with parents
  • Internet reviews
  • Hygiene (washrooms, cleanliness, and sanitization, etc.)

You can also read this related article about selecting the perfect pre-primary school (physical or online school) for your child.

Final Thoughts

As parents, you must have valid reasons to consider that your child is in the right preschooler age. Remember that preschool is the first ever real world for the child outside your own. So do not rush and make a decision that you will never regret in the future. For most kids, there is no PERFECT TIME AND AGE to join a preschool. So it’s better to know the right age for play school in India. And take a call when you feel your child has reached the perfect preschooler age.

Thanks for Reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best age for preschool?
    The right age for preschool is only when your child completes 3 years. And most importantly, he/she has the readiness to thrive in a school.
  • Should I send my 2.5 year old to preschool?
    As per the government rules, the age for class 1 admission is minimum of 6 years. The preschooler age is generally 3 years in India. If you are considering a preschool that has more than 3 years of preschool classes (like pre-nursery), you can consider this choice as long as the school meets the required government criteria. However, if your child has not developed the readiness for a school, you should avoid sending a child of this age to a preschool.
  • Is nursery good for 2 year olds?
    According to the National Education Policy 2020, the minimum age for preschool/nursery is 3 years.  
  • What is the minimum age for play school in India?
    The play school age is defined as per the pattern of 3 years in the recent education policy. The minimum age is 3 years, considering that the child enters class 1 after completing 6 years.
  • What age is preschool and kindergarten in India?
    Preschool or nursery admissions should ideally start at the age of 3 years. However, some schools follow a pattern of 4 years for preschool education. Hence the age criterion varies in such cases.
  • What is the age of admission in nursery?
    Ideally, it should be 3 years of age (and above) if your child is ready to join a school.

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