I can’t believe that its one day past my “babies” 16 month birthday and I have begun researching nursery schools! Initially we were adamant that we would not put Ava in nursery school till she was 2 years old so at the beginning 2012.

Then as the months started ticking over and more and more of my friends, with babies a few months older than Ava, started sending their little ones to nursery school, we started thinking that perhaps its wasn’t the worst idea in the world to send her a little earlier.  Ava turns 18 months slap bang in the middle of June, right in the middle of our freezing cold winters, so I’m loathe to even consider sending her then, given that it seems that everyone’s toddlers get sick when they first start attending nursery school. Surrounding my previously sheltered toddler with a gang of sniffing toddlers in the middle of winter just feels like I’m asking for trouble.

Now I think we’re pretty set on having her start for the final term of the year, which is end September to end November and only going in perhaps two or three mornings a week. She’ll be 22 months by then and I just know she’ll be more than ready. She’s a very curious child and has already started showing a strong independent streak but she’s also very sociable & loving. She wants to hug & kiss all the little children she comes across and seems quite taken aback when they either push her away, or hurt her. I feel that she is already started to show some signs of readiness. We do attend swimming lessons and Kinder Music once a week so she is getting a bit of external stimulation and I also try to have at least one play date a week where she can “play” with another toddler of a similar age.

But I don’t want to rush this, the time has to be perfect and the school needs to be perfect to. I have my heart set on a nursery school close to our home, it’s on the same premises & is affiliated with the church we attend, the education is also Christian based, which is important to both Walter and I as we have already started raising her with the foundation and principles of Christian values and morals and we’d like this to be carried through in her education. The pre-primary and primary school we are hoping to send her to, should we still be in SA, is also Christian based education. But we do have a few options and will only make a decision once we’ve visited all the schools.

The question really is, how do you know when they are ready for the next step?