Can a 3-Year-Old Go to Preschool in Florida?


Can a 3-Year-Old Go to Preschool in Florida?

can a three year old go to preschool in Florida

Young children have a lot of energy and curiosity about the world around them. High-quality preschool programs provide a safe, enriching environment that lets kids move, play, learn, and make friends.

But when is the right time to send your child to preschool? Many parents wonder if their child is ready to join a preschool program at three years old.

This article will explore what children learn in preschool, how to tell if your child is ready to start preschool, and where to find a great Florida preschool.

Contact the New Horizons team now to learn about our outstanding early learning programs or to schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting you and your child soon!

What is Preschool?

While some people use the terms “daycare” and “preschool” to mean the same thing, there are some important differences between these programs. A daycare program provides safe care for infants and children. A preschool program offers an enriching educational program for children ages three to five years old.

What Do Children Learn in Preschool?

High-quality preschool programs focus on preparing young children for Kindergarten. Here is an overview of what children learn in preschool.


A solid foundation of literacy is a critical aspect of school success. Preschool educators use an evidence-based curriculum to introduce children to literacy in a developmentally appropriate way. This may include:

  • Learning to recognize letters and their sounds
  • Tracing, drawing, and writing
  • Reading stories
  • Learning about the order of a story–what happens first, next, and last

Children build a foundation of knowledge and skills but also learn that reading can be a lot of fun.

Social-emotional skills

Good social skills can help your child succeed in Kindergarten and beyond. Going to preschool lets children develop and practice social skills with peers and caring educators.

Children also learn to identify and regulate their emotions, which can help them as they transition into kindergarten later on.


Experienced early childhood educators use age-appropriate lessons to introduce young children to science, technology, engineering, and math. Children may build with blocks, observe seasonal changes, learn about weather patterns, and so much more.

High-quality preschool programs use play-based learning to introduce complex topics to children. Young kids make new connections, learn skills, and have a lot of fun learning.

Can a 3-Year-Old Go to Preschool in Florida?

Most preschool programs accept children ages 3-5. Preschools often have different expectations than daycares for children in their programs. For example, teachers typically expect children to be fully potty-trained before beginning preschool.

Your three-year-old may be ready to begin preschool, or they may need a little more time before joining a program. Before enrolling, it’s important to consider your child’s unique needs, personality, and level of readiness.

Here are some signs that your child may be ready to start preschool:

  • Your child can get dressed, eat, and play independently
  • Your child can communicate their needs clearly enough for another adult to understand
  • Your child is comfortable being separated from a parent or caregiver
    Your child can sustain attention for a short period
  • Your child can follow simple commands like “sit down” or “come here.”
  • Your child is fully potty-trained
  • Your child has the emotional and physical stamina for a preschool schedule

Every child develops differently. Several issues, like separation anxiety and potty training setbacks, are common in very young children.

Your child’s level of school readiness may be different from another three-year-old’s. If you have questions about enrolling your child in preschool, talk to an early childhood educator at New Horizons.

How to Find the Best Preschool

If you are searching for a preschool in Pasco County, you will find many options available. Finding a high-quality learning center can benefit your child throughout the preschool years.

A learning center focuses on preparing children for Kindergarten. It often offers several program options, including preschool and VPK programs for eligible children.

Choosing a learning center for preschool allows children to transition easily from one early learning program to the next as their needs change. Here are some tips that can help you find a great learning center near you.

1. Research

Ask for recommendations or search online for local preschools and learning centers. Choose a program that offers the location, hours, and educational approach you prefer.

2. Take a tour

Tour a learning center. Meet the staff, learn about the center’s schedule and educational approach, and observe how children and teachers interact. If possible, bring your child along on visits.

3. Apply

Each center’s application process is different, so be sure you know what information you will need to provide. If you are registering for a voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) program, you may need to provide additional information to prove your child is eligible for VPK.

Contact the staff at New Horizons now to learn about our early learning programs or to schedule a tour.

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