My son is 14 months old now and some infant communities accept children from 15 months!
Does the existence of infant communities mean it’s better for them to enrol as early as possible?
This was a long and difficult consideration of mine and I suffered a serious case of FOMO: What if going to the montessori could offer Nat more than I could at home?
The important thing is considering the home environment. If your home environment has a stable and loving carer at all times be it a parent, a grandparent, or a helper, the most important thing a young child this age needs is a stable environment and stable carers. It is then pretty much enough simply to be initiated into activities of daily life, observing us or even participating while we run errands, visit the shops, post office and so on.
After all, a recent Stanford study showed we are sending our kids to school far too early, and that in the long term, kids who delayed formal schooling up to the age of 8 like they do in Finland, had better self control and executive functioning in the later years! Another case for home schooling!
However, if you are a pair of working parents and need childcare then an infant community will provide the most gentle, home away from home environment which otherwise you might prepare yourself.
So with regards to what a child needs, as a first choice, a loving, stable home for as long as possible. Second best choice, infant community and preschools.
We chose to send to infant community two afternoons a week 🙂