Most states regulate a child’s education. For example, children are required to be enrolled into a kindergarten program by the time they are 6 years old. From kindergarten until a set minimum age, depending on the state, they are required to attend school. This is to ensure that the child receives all of the benefits of school during their childhood years. Preschool, however, is not required in most states. Parents can decide if and when their child is ready to attend preschool. If they choose to never enroll them, they will simply start school at the kindergarten level. Although optional, enrolling your child into a preschool program offers many academic and social benefits.
Helps the child adjust to a schedule outside of the home For the first few years of a child’s life, they remain inside of the home. Their primary caretaker, usually either the mother or the father, are the one person they see for many hours of the day. The change to a full day school program can be a difficult adjustment for some children. Enrolling your child into a preschool program for a few hours of the day can help to slowly transition that adjustment. By the time the child is old enough for a full day program, they will be more accustomed to the process.
Provides them with necessary social skills Children who are enrolled into a preschool program tend to have more advanced social skills by the time they enter into kindergarten. A child who does not participate in a preschool program is limited to the social skills they may learn. They may not be around other children, learning things like sharing or communicating with other children. They may be used to getting what they want, making the multiple child environment more difficult.
Prepares them for academic success A preschool program can provide your child with academic skills they will bring into kindergarten with them. While many children are just learning these skills for the first time in kindergarten, your child will be ready to expand on these skills. In a review of three separate studies, 80% of children who participated in preschool programs outperformed their peers who did not participate in high quality early care and education programs. These academic skills will set them up with the necessary academic skills for every level of academic education, from kindergarten to elementary school, middle school, high school, and then college and post college studies.
Improve reading skills Even parents who consistently read to their children at home may not be comparable to the reading skills that a child can pick up in a preschool setting. Kids who attend preschool do 21% better on math and reading tests in kindergarten than peers who do not attend. Those numbers increase even more if the preschool program is a private school program. The benefits of private school include more teacher attention, which can be beneficial at this early learning age.
Provides the child with a sense of independence Children who attend preschool programs tend to develop a sense of independence earlier. Although this can be a scary idea for a parent, it can provide many benefits to the child. Children who have a sense of independence tend to take more pride in their academic studies and learn to develop a sense of personal motivation. If they want to do well in school rather than simply wanting to please a parent, it is likely that they will do better.
Between 2011 and 2013, 4,428,000 children ages three and four attended preschool. Enrolling your child into a preschool program is a parent’s personal choice. There are many benefits to early preschool participation, including social skills, academic awareness, success motivation, and academic success. Children who begin school earlier are able to adjust better and carry the skills they learn into each of their academic program, including honors programs and college programs.