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Is English playgroup necessary

Many parents agonize with the decision to have their child attend playgroup when they are between the ages 2 and 4.  Children at this age are lovable, adorable, impressionable and curious.  Many parents, if they had the choice would spend as much time with their children during their formative years and treasure all the special time which they can never get back.  Sometimes outside factors such as the family's financial situation can make the decision for them over the parent's and child's needs and wants.

All children are individuals who have developed over their few years some positive and negative habits and personality traits.  For example some children can get very clingy to their parents and never want to be with other children.  If this problem isn't dealt with when they are young it can get worse as the child gets older and fails to develop social skills.  For this situation a child should attend playgroup.  The same thing goes for how they are learning at home.  If a child is very proficient in math and reading at home then playgroup may in fact stunt their momentum.

A few months ago my friend Dana placed her 3 year old, James in playgroup two times a week because she started a job part time and no one was at home to take care of him.   Dana lives in the suburbs where the cost of playgroup isn't too high.  The first few days for James were traumatic which negatively affected Dana.  However after the first few weeks James adjusted nicely and started making new friends and loved the lessons on animals. 

My other friend Jen had the financial means to stay at home and she wants to spend as much time with Jeff as she can now.  He is rambunctious, has a lot of energy and very smart.  Jen wants to spend every moment she can with Jeff because she has two older children who did attend playgroup.  Now she regrets placing them in playgroup 3 days a week. 

Some parents start right off with placing their child in playgroup 5 days a week.  This isn’t advisable to start off because both the child and parent should be eased into this new situation. Children, especially the extremely shy ones can get traumatized because the only thing they have known their entire life is having one parent with them all hours of their existence.  The best approach is to ease your child into playground 1 or 2 days to start off. 

Playgroup is certainly necessary for some parents and optional for others.   Time and finances can make the decision for the parent which isn't ideal but is reality.  The parent who stayed at home with the child for their first few years may need to start work again because of a tight financial situation or their career demands it.  In these situations time and finances will dictate the decision that their child will attend playgroup.

After considering these factors, the needs of the child can be considered..  If they are well adjusted, see other children in other situations, interact with children their age well and learn at home then playgroup is not necessary.  If on the other hand they are extremely shy or are behind in their comprehension of reading or math then playgroup should be strongly considered.

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