What Age to Start Preschool

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Many preschools enroll children at 2 years of age (2.0 by September 1st of the fall your child begins). A few preschools enroll as young as 1 year and 6 months (1.6) or as old as 3 years (3.0).

You can check out Parents League Guide to NYC Preschools to familiarize yourself with the options in your neighborhood. Use our Age Calculator to verify how old your child will be in September. We recommend doing this prior to beginning the admissions process.

In reality, there is no exact age that all children should begin preschool. A lot is dependent on what works for your family and child; some families need the childcare and like the idea of their child being in a preschool setting early on.

In general, two-year-olds benefit from age-appropriate opportunities to develop new language and social skills and to begin to feel comfortable in a community outside of their home. This can be addressed by preschools. There are also preschool alternatives, classes, preschool based toddler programs or full time childcare which are all designed to provide your child with the needed opportunities for social and emotional growth. Do what works best for your family and don’t stress!

If you’re not sure if it’s the right time, call and talk it through with one of our Preschool Advisors.   

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Here are some tips for beginning the preschool application process.:

1.    Join Parents League. Sign up for membership online or contact our office at [email protected]

2.   Register for our upcoming Preschool Admissions Virtual Fair and Panel Discussion, May 3-7, 2021.

3.    Attend a Preschool Admissions Virtual Workshop (included with membership). Register for workshops on our events page.

Led by one of our experienced School Advisors, this interactive virtual workshop is offered during the winter, spring and summer. These interactive virtual sessions will give you the opportunity to learn about the preschool admissions process and have all your questions answered.

4.    Develop your list of schools, and then call one of our school advisors to review your list. (included with membership)

5.   Request and file applications in September. Stay in touch with your school advisor as you go through the process. (unlimited calls with a School Advisor included in your membership)

Resources:

Age Calculator

Preschool Admissions Timeline

List of Member Schools