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The Benefits of Preschool

The Benefits of Enrolling Children in a Quality Preschool

Group of Children PaintingThe dilemma of whether to send their children to preschool or wait until it is time for kindergarten to send their children to school is the first educational decision most parents face.  What you do as a parent should be determined by your child and your personal convictions.  However, there are many benefits for your child if he/she goes to preschool before starting kindergarten.  They are discussed in further detail to give you a good idea of why preschool can help prepare your child for kindergarten and his future years in school.

The social benefits of a quality preschool experience are undeniable.  Young children learn to live in a classroom community.  They learn to follow a routine and to get along with people, who aren’t their relatives.  More importantly, they learn to problem solve with others who want the same toys, same place in line, same friends, and same teacher’s attention as they do.  Interacting with other children means learning how to wait, how to take turns and how to listen.  Young children learn social skills when they interact with other children.  These social skills are critical to a developing personality and should not be dismissed lightly.

Another benefit of children who attend preschool is they overcome their separation anxiety or at least reduce it significantly.  When children attend preschool they gradually learn that their parent will return.  They learn in a loving environment (with a lower student to teacher ratio than in kindergarten) that they are not being abandoned and they can relax and have fun at school.

Building the foundations for academic learning is the third benefit of enrolling children in a quality preschool.  In preschool your child will listen to and learn poetry and songs – the building blocks needed to grasp phonics and reading skills.  Play that takes place with water, sand and containers form the foundation for understanding basic math concepts.   Matching, sequencing, graphing, patterning, one to one correspondence and similar activities are done over and over in preschool helping children get ready to learn academics.

The fourth benefit of a preschool experience is the development of self-confidence and self-management skills.    A quality preschool education improves the efficiency and productivity in the kindergarten classroom.  Overall, children who participate in preschool education have more advanced skills in areas such as following directions, problem-solving, and joining in activities, all of which allow kindergarten teachers more time to work directly with children and less time on classroom management.  The task of fitting into a classroom community is very important.  It is much easier for a child to have this piece of behavior resolved before he or she enters kindergarten.

Kindergarten teachers are in agreement that almost always, a quality preschool experience creates a smooth transition into kindergarten.  In a poll conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for Preschool California found near unanimous support for quality preschool among kindergarten teachers.  More than 9 out of 10 kindergarten teachers in California say it is important for children to attend preschool before they start kindergarten.