As with all sports, there seems to be a general idea that the earlier you start performing, the better you are and the more likely you will be to become a professional at it. This idea also seems to come into play when it comes to figure skating. Therefore, here is the truth about the best age for a professional ice skater to start learning how to skate.
Kids, especially those who are under the age of 5, tend to have greater enjoyment when they are taught to skate. It is not something that only applies to ice skating, but regular wheeled skating as well. They adapt well to the fact that they are standing on very little. There are some kids who are able to learn and enjoy ice skating from as young as 3-years-old.
If you have a child who loves the idea of skating and you hope to encourage them to do their best with it, you should keep in mind that most of the figure skaters who do it professionally started when they were around 4 years. However, there are a few exceptions and some did not first really learn to skate until they were 6-7 years-old. More than anything, it depends on the child. There are some toddlers who take to the ice and excel when they are very young. There are 4-year-olds that are good enough already to be in competitions and have the ability to win at them.
It depends on whether you have an overly friendly child who will spend more time wanting to get to know the other children than skating or if you choose to do a group or private lesson. If you have a child who does not respond well to another adult talking to them and telling them how to skate, then you may also have to delay their lessons until they are more ready to accept being away from you, unless you are also a good skater that can teach them the basics well enough to get them into a class later on.
You should also question whether your child has the ability to stay focused on learning to skate. If they are easily frustrated, you may need to wait until they are older and perhaps more ready for the challenge. This could also mean waiting on them to decide that ice skating is what they want to do, long term.