How Preschool Can Shape Your Child’s Future
Kindergartens are changing in terms of their expectations of children and their educational requirements. Quality preschool is increasingly becoming the norm, to help children meet the academic and social expectations they will have to fulfill. One of the most important things to look for in a preschool is whether it will provide the high quality education and readiness that children need before grade school.
New expectations in kindergarten
Kindergartens have changed completely in recent years and children are now expected to have a certain level of academic and social skills. Quality preschools are different from traditional daycares in that they now provide the skills that children will need in kindergarten.
Parents might worry that these new expectations place an additional burden on their children at an early age, but such concerns and fears are unfounded. In large part, the new kindergarten environment is based on years of research in early childhood education, which shows that very young children are capable and eager learners.
In fact, very young children have a capacity for learning language and social skills that is unsurpassed in later years. It actually begins to decline by the time they are a little older, by seven to ten years of age.
Benefits of preschool curriculum
New preschools encourage and support the early development of children’s learning abilities. Grade school readiness is developed through language, music and play skills that build upon the natural tendency of very young children to learn and comprehend.
As the advantages of academic preschool programs become apparent, enrollments have been increasing. Between 1990 to 2013, enrollment of 3- to 5-year-olds in academic preschool activities increased from 59 to 65%.
How preschool shapes a child’s life
A long-term study examined the benefits of academic preschool in the lives of 123 children between 1962?1967. At the beginning of the study, the children were 3 or 4 years old, and were considered high risk because they had been born into poverty.
By the time they reached the age of 40, the study found that study participants were more likely to have graduated from high school and to hold a job. They had also committed fewer crimes in relation to their peer groups which did not have the benefits of a preschool education. The study shows that preschool has lifelong positive consequences.
At the present time, about three out of four children in the U.S. attend a preschool. Finding the right preschool can be a challenge for parents. It’s an important decision, because it will shape your child’s future in so many different ways.
Things to look for in a preschool
What are some things to look for in a preschool? It’s a good idea to visit any preschool where you might consider enrolling your children, walk around and talk to teachers. It’s important to get a sense of the physical surroundings and facilities available to children. In some cases, you may be able to talk to other parents as well, to get their impressions of the school and the teachers.
Other things to look for in a preschool include the qualifications of the teachers, and the curriculum itself. Is it balanced between different areas and does it allow enough time for play as well as lessons? Does it provide children the opportunity to develop their creativity through art, music and drama while teaching basic language and counting skills?
Choosing a preschool for your child is an important decision that will shape your child’s life. The new preschool curriculum is designed to fulfill your child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn, and will provide the skills and abilities that will help him or her succeed.