Do you know the importance of preschool? The preschool is the best way to get your toddler ready for the test that awaits him at the start of elementary school. While preschools don’t follow the same structure of elementary schools and there are no formal rules and regulations, there is a chance to learn a lot through preschools by exploring and playing under the guidance of helpful and caring teachers. Apart from the learning, preschools also provide a good break for the parents as they can relax while the child has some fun in a caring environment.

What Is the Importance of Preschool?           

Preschools are important in helping a child gain some basic knowledge and pick up information that would be useful once he starts elementary school. Studies show that preschools aid a child’s development and students who have attended preschools have a higher graduation rate than those who have not attended preschool. Researches also suggest that students who attend preschools are unlikely to be put into special education schemes. Some of the main benefits and importance of preschool education for children are listed below.

1. Acquire Social Skills

The best things that two-to-five year old children learn through various activities at preschool are social skills. They learn how to wait for turns, how to follow instructions, and how to co-operate with other young children in different activities, which include listening to stories in story time, working together in drawing, and constructing different things in building sessions. By attending preschool, children find their true social self as well, as they find children of the same age there. Toddlers who might not have blossomed at home can really sparkle at preschool; children who are shy can learn to overcome their introvert tendencies too.

2. Learn the Basics through Play

The activities at preschool are designed in such a manner that the kid learns a lot of basics while having a lot of fun with his peers. The singing activity introduces children to letters and alphabets; block counting introduces them to numbers; story time introduces them to sentence formation and language skills; and cooking introduces them to basic concepts of mathematics. The child can also get some exposure to biology and geology through nature walks, to colors and shapes through puzzles and finger painting activities.

3. Encourage Creativity

Children get a lot more opportunities of building their creative minds through various crafty and artistic activities designed by preschool teachers. Children often don’t show their creative self at homes for fear of getting a scolding for the mess it might create. With no such fear at preschool, children should be able to explore the limits of their curious and imaginative minds.

4. Develop Motor Skills

A good preschool would arrange for various activities throughout the day in which the child has to run and climb. Activities like interactive games can improve the child’s physical development and balance. With simple scissor cutting and bead threading tasks, a child’s motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination can develop. Along with physical skills and motor skills, a child’s coordination skills improve significantly with all the group activities at preschool.

5. Prepare Your Kid for School

Children who don’t attend preschool often face separation problems with their moms at the start of kindergarten and also encounter difficulty in following instructions, rules, and regulations. Teachers who teach in kindergarten also opine that children are better prepared to learn when they have good behavior-management and socializing skills―things that can be learnt at preschool. Thus, attending preschools helps a child adjust easily to kindergartens.

When Do Your Child Start Preschool?

A lot of preschools start to accept children when they are only two and a half years old, while other preschools admit kids after they celebrate their third or fourth birthdays. Most children join preschool at age four, but it all depends on when your child is ready to stay away from you. Children are admitted on both part-time and full-time schedules, depending on which kind of schedule suits you and your child.

How to Select a Preschool

STEP 1: Decide on Schedule and Location

Moms who have sent their children to preschool can prove to be great advisors on which school to choose and on what timings would be the best. Preschool programs are offered at daycare institutes, churches, government-funded schools, and private schools, with the hours varying according to the chosen schedule. Two-days and three-days-a-week schedules are offered in part-time programs, while five-days-a-week schedules are offered in full-time programs.

STEP 2: Check the License

The accreditation of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) is the stamp of approval that should guarantee you that the school’s childcare facilities, curriculum, teaching standard, and healthcare standards are all up to the mark.

STEP 3: Arrange Visits

Going to different preschools with your child during open houses should help you gauge your little one’s response to the teachers, the classes, and the activities that the child will be involved in. By visiting different schools, you should also be able to evaluate the teaching staff and facilities, and decide which preschool would be the best for your kid.

NAEYC recommends looking for the following indications to check if the class of the preschool is good.

  • Ask the child-to-teacher ratio. See the number of children that would be dealt by a single teacher within the classroom. The lower the ratio, the more individual attention the teacher would give to your child. Ideally, there should be one teacher for eight to ten four- or five-year-olds and one teacher for six to seven two- or three-year-olds.
  • Ask about the staff’s educational background and the training they have received. The better their qualification, the more they should be able to teach your child.
  • Inquire about the experience of teachers. Teachers with more experience of handling children would have a better idea of how to teach them and how to get them to learn the most.
  • Put forward questions regarding the curriculum. A good curriculum should have a diverse set of activities according to the age of the children.
  • Ask about parent teacher meetings and how much communication between teachers and families is encouraged by the school.

Have a look at the video below to know more about how to select a preschool: