As a conscientious parent, you want what’s best for your child. Often, it’s easy to lose sight of this among the plentiful options of preschool and daycare centers. In the end though, preschool offers many benefits and advantages that daycare does not. By keeping your child’s best interests in mind as you find a preschool, you are doing them an enormous favor both for their early life and on into adolescence and adulthood. Follow our simple guide to get you started if you’re not sure what to look for in a preschool.
To begin, it’s important to look at some of the data in regards to the lifelong benefits of preschool education programs. In 2015, the overall percentage of three- to five-year-olds enrolled in preschool programs was higher for children who had parents with a graduate or professional degree (48%). For those whose parents had a bachelor’s degree 42% were enrolled in a preschool program, an associate’s degree (37%), some college (37%), a high school credential (29%), and less than a high school credential (29%). As you can see, the education levels of a family have a high relation to preschool and success in later adult education. For this reason and many others, it’s important to find a preschool that not only serves as a starting point of education for your child but also piques their interest in learning as a lifelong pursuit thereafter. It all begins with you.
Next, you may want to look at some of the specific services and benefits that your child stands to gain when attending a preschool program. As a foundation of learning and socialization, a good preschool will get your child used to interacting with others within a safe environment that is both mentally stimulating and socially nurturing. By exposing your child to peers early on, they have a much greater chance of building positive relationships through group communication, interaction, and involvement. When a child sees that their opinions, viewpoints, and preferences are considered valuable within a group setting, they are freer to construct a positive self-image and carry themselves with confidence through all their interpersonal interactions. This not only helps them take the initiative in their daily lives but also helps them adopt a sense of their place within a group setting and the community as a whole.
Of course, academic development is another major benefit of preschool. Early reading and writing skills help cement important concepts that lead to the refinement of valuable skills that will serve your child through their education and beyond into adulthood. What may seem like only a small head start on basic subjects like spelling and grammar can have enormous compounding returns as your child hones their abilities and cultivates their specific interests. You should try to find a preschool that has a proven record of success in teaching basic skills to a wide range of personality types, as this is often a good indicator that your child will be encouraged to learn in their own way from the start. The earlier your child begins the process of learning, the more likely they are to succeed, regardless of their talents and inclinations. A trusted preschool environment gets them started on the right foot so that they may continue to pursue success throughout their academic journey.
When you’re trying to find a preschool, don’t get overwhelmed by the wide range of options available to you. It’s wise to talk to trusted friends, colleagues, and parents in your community to get a sense of what’s available, and which preschool programs come with recommendations. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you may want to tour the preschool to get a sense of how your child will benefit from attending. Enrolling your child in preschool ensures that they are challenged and stimulated throughout the day, as opposed to placing them in daycare where they are not actively improving through education and skill-building. In the end, doing what’s right for your child is the most important thing, and by choosing to enroll them in preschool you are doing just that.