Preschool at 2 1/2 or 3 1/2?
Preschools in my area generally run Sep-June. The better preschools rarely start children in January. They do require potty training to be accomplished, or nearly so. And of course, registration is now, and there are wait lists, and my time to research before registration closes is limited. My daughter will just barely be 2 1/2 by September. She shows all the intellectual signs of readiness for preschool. She's good in group and social situations already. But for lots of reasons, the ideal would be to start her in January, but that limits my choices of preschools. I've found lots of good research on how to find a good preschool, but not much on the right age/readiness to start a child. My qualms are: 1) she's just now starting to show signs of potty training readiness. Knowing that it may be a 3-4 month process, I dont' really think it's a good thing to "hurry her up" just so she can start in September. 2) 2 1/2 seems too young--I wonder if she'll really learn anything more than what she gets at home and in the regular social situations to which she's exposed. 3) 3 1/2 seems late to start preschool, but because of when her birthday falls (March) that still leaves 2 years of preschool and 1 year of kindergarten before starting 1st grade at 6 1/2. That seems like more than enough. But on the other hand, I can see the great leaps and bounds her mind has made in the past few months, and I don't want her to get too bored at home (I'm a CPA, and there are "seasons" when I just don't have the time to plan anything especially stimulating. I largely rely upon educational toys to keep her busy during those times).
I want to hear what you think. Given these circumstances, when would you start your child in preschool?