The Long-Term Benefits of Enrolling At-Risk Youth in Preschool

preschoolAs one of the cornerstones of contemporary society, receiving a quality education is a priority for many parents and children alike. The benefits of receiving a quality education have been showcased for decades. However, little attention is brought to the benefits of starting young, especially for at-risk youth.

With 75% of young children through the country participating in academic preschool programs of some sort, many parents are getting their kids’ educational careers off on the right foot. Unfortunately, that number shrinks dramatically when turning the lens on impoverished families. Only 45% of children who live below the poverty level are enrolled in preschool.

Research shows that participating in a quality academic preschool curriculum gives at-risk youth a much better chance to continue their education long-term. A recent study found that 60% of at-risk youth — three in five — were more likely to avoid college if they didn’t receive a quality preschool education.

Aside from continuing their education, there are many short-term effects of enlisting your child in academic preschool activities. Here are just a few.

  1. Socialization: By spending time around other children and adult authority figures, children learn how to harmoniously interact with others. They also learn about conflict resolution, varying cultural differences, and social cues. Exposing your child to different people from a variety of backgrounds allows them the opportunity to become open-minded.
  2. Grade School Readiness: Preschool is designed to get a head-start on your child’s educational career. While many preschools choose to avoid the traditional sit-down and teach method that many kids encounter in elementary school, they are nonetheless exposing children to new knowledge they’ll absorb and retain. Preschool features a large level of exploration for young children, something that allows them to learn more about their interests and the world around them. Activities such as telling stories and singing nursery rhymes helps build language and pre-reading skills, all the while keeping a child interested and intrigued.
  3. Independence: A huge part of preschool is teaching kids how to be independent and think for themselves. For many youngsters, the first day of preschool can be their first day away from their parents. Though it can be daunting, it teaches children that to be more self-reliant. They will learn that it’s okay to be away from their parents and there are plenty of things outside of their comfort zone that are enjoyable.

If you have any questions about the benefits of preschool, feel free to share in the comments.