The "pre-schooler" term and its definition are loaded with location-sensitive information. In some countries, pre-schooler would mean under 3 yo and not older than 3 yo.

It gets quickly confusing as many culture have different definitions of school periods (kindergarten, pre-school, nursery, middle school, elementary school, college, university, high-school, etc...), and while we can of course argue that we communicate here in English, it might be a bit too demanding that people from other background also know and understand the definitions of these terms in an English-speaking or more global context (and it may even vary between English-speaking cultures).

That can also creep in in other tags of course, but that was the one that struck me today. For instance, to a lesser level, "infant" can be a bit tricky for French-speakers as it's a "faux-ami" of "enfant" (which means "child", not "infant").

2 Answers 2


I would personally be opposed to removing the tag altogether. The age category tags are by far our most popular tags (only and are more popular than and , and and are used far more frequently than any other tag).

I don't think age ranges would be an appropriate replacement, since they would cause confusing categorizations for the very reasons cited in this question. It would be potentially confusing to see some questions on preparing for school under a "1-3" tag, and others under a "4-5" tag. Not to mention that the existing breakdown of infant/newborn would be impractical, as "birth-to-about-3-months" is probably too long, and "3-months-to-about-1-year" is no better.

Another factor against specific age ranges is that development and milestones vary considerably, particularly in the first couple of years. That's why the more general terms were agreed upon, and why the tag descriptions indicate that they are rough guidelines ("from about..." and "to about..." are part of all the tag descriptions).

For reference, the original discussion on how we arrived at those tags (which actually predates my involvement in this site) can be found here.

While I understand that the tag usage may be confusing to some people, I can't think of any solution that would be universally and intuitively understood. The tag descriptions will help with any confusion, and our users and moderators will continue to make any edits necessary to keep our tag usage consistent. I'm certainly open to suggestions though, as I won't pretend that if I can't imagine a better system, one doesn't exist :)


I'm not sure we can really do much about it, and there are already questions tagged with this term to just changing its definition wouldn't be enough.

It'd seem the tag itself should be renamed and re-defined, or maybe that we should use "age ranges" tags (e.g. "0-1", "1-3", etc...). Which would also probably have a cultural bias, albeit a lighter one.

Other alternatives are welcome.

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