Buffy Summers was not identified as a Potential until she was a teenager - actually after she had been activated. The other Potentials who would be activated: Faith Lehane and Kendra Young are described as having been raised and trained by Watchers from a young age.
In the episode Chosen,
Willow uses the scythe to activate all other Potentials across the globe. We are shown a montage of Potentials feeling their first surge of power and strength, but few if any are clearly in the care of their own Watchers.
So, how/why are some Potentials so easily identified and taken into the care of Watchers while others are clearly missed or ignored?