If you are a stay-at-home parent, then preschool may not quite have the allure to you that it does to working parents. You don't need childcare for your child -- you're available for that! But preschool is actually far more than glorified babysitting. Here are four reasons you should send your toddler to preschool even though you are a stay-at-home parent.
They can meet others their own age.
Chances are, your child's main socialization experiences so far have been with adults and with siblings of a different age. At preschool, your child can meet and interact with other kids their own age, which will help them learn to foster relationships with kids of the same age -- a skill they will need to draw on for the rest of their lives.
They'll learn to respect other authorities.
Your child knows that you, as their parents, are an authority. But do they realize that there are other adults whose opinions they need to respect, too? Attending preschool will get them used to the idea of listening to a teacher's instructions and respecting that person as an authority figure.
They'll get used to being away from you.
You may have no desire to be away from your child, and they probably do not want to be away from you. However, it's a sad fact of life that they will have to gradually become more independent. You can't be with them when they attend kindergarten or first grade, so preschool helps them learn to be away from you in a less demanding, more relaxed environment.
They'll learn to take care of their own needs.
You can surely teach your child to wash their own hands, pick up their own toys, and otherwise be responsible at home. But there's always this element of "if I don't do it, Mom or Dad will." At preschool, your child has to go one step further to taking care of their own basic needs like handwashing and putting away toys. Yes, the teacher is there for help if needed, but they are less able to step in since they have so many kids to watch over.
Keep in mind that preschool does not have to be all or nothing. If the idea of sending your child off to school five days a week is unappealing, there are plenty of programs that run just two or three mornings a week and will slowly get your child used to going to school. For more information, contact establishments like Learning Tree Academy.