When it comes to finding the right preschool in today’s America, there are many different options to choose from. A high quality education is first on just about every parent’s list. Every parent wants what is best for their child. But many wonder what the requirements for preschool are, not only for the child but for themselves, as well.
Parents all around the country today want their child to get the best possible education, and they are starting that education earlier and earlier these days. There are statistics that bear our the intuition that parents have about starting their children in school at ages as young as three. The percentages of children who were enrolled in preschool by the ages of three and four were 42 and 68% respectively. This number has increased dramatically since 1990 when only 33 and 56% of three and four-year-olds, respectively, were enrolled in a preprimary program. Since the 1990s, requirements for preschool have not changed much, but the perceived value of a preschool program certainly has.
Grade school readiness is one of the hallmarks of preschool programs, and when the effectiveness of preschool programs is being measured, one need look no further than the underprivileged to see how important these programs can be for the youth of today. Nearly a quarter of at-risk children will drop out of high school if they do not obtain a high quality preschool education. With at-risk children such as these, the requirements for preschool are simply that they have parents who are willing and able to get their children to the preschool location. The investment of inner-city monies to preschool education will pay off in spades when the children of the community grow into motivated, intelligent young adults who are ready to enter the workforce.
If you are and at-risk child who did not get a preschool education and were able to make it through high school, there is a 60% chance that you will not go on to college. In addition, upwards of 70% of at-risk children who did not receive a preschool education will be more likely to commit a violent crime and spend time in prison as a result.
There are many facets of the preschool education curriculum that prepare our young children for the educational process. Learning how to function around other students their same age away from their home environment is one of them. This can not be understated. Children who learn to navigate a school setting at a young age learn the skills necessary to adapt quickly, solve problems effectively, and manage group situations well.
The requirement for preschool teachers is to facilitate an arena in which these types of skills can be cultivated. Most programs are not day long programs, though some are. Most of the preschool programs in the inner cities carry on through a full day, and many stay in business throughout the entire year.
Children need a quality education, no one doubts that. But how early should they begin their education? You might just be surprised by how much a three-year-old can learn. Preschool is not for baby sitting. It’s the beginning of a lifetime of learning.