In a busy world where both parents have to work, families with young children have to consider: should they send their children to daycare or a primary program at a preschool? At first, the choice of program might not seem to make a difference, but an increasing amount of evidence shows that it is actually more beneficial to send your child to preschool instead of daycare. In fact, approximately three-fourths of young children in the United States participate in preschool. Here are three reasons why you should enroll your child in preschool:
First, attending preschool or any primary program automatically gives your child an advantage in the educational process. Children who attend preschool are taught basic concepts, like numbers, shapes, colors, and basic literacy, and are exposed early to a preschool classroom environment, better preparing them for kindergarten and grade school after that. By contrast, in a daycare setting, children are largely left to their own devices to play or socialize as they choose, with no fixed curriculum in place.
Second, there are social advantages to attending preschool. In a school environment that a primary program creates, young children will be exposed to social interactions in a teacher-controlled environment, which is invaluable for children who may struggle interacting with their peers. The teacher can guide these students into how to interact properly and set them up for success when they move on to a regular school environment. This is far superior to daycare, where children are not obligated to socialize and may spend their entire time not engaging with anyone, setting them at a disadvantage when they meet their peers at school and don’t know how to socialize with them.
Third, attending preschool can provide health advantages for your child. Most preschool programs involve health screenings and regular check-ups; these work to ensure your children learn and grow in a healthy environment and they learn more about healthy practices (such as oral hygiene and personal care) at the same time. Daycares, on the other hand, do not insist on check-ups and it is not uncommon for children to be exposed to various childhood illnesses or parasites (for example chicken pox and lice), which can adversely affect young children.
The benefits of sending your child to preschool instead of daycare cannot be overstated. Children who attend preschool are given educational and social advantages that they might otherwise miss if they attended daycare. There are also the health advantages to be considered as children who attend preschool receive regular check-ups and health screenings that can provide an early alert for any potential problems. So when the time comes, remember that preschool is always the better option.