The Benefits of Preschool

If you are a working parent, you probably have your young child enrolled in a childcare center. Though the main point of a childcare facility is to care for your child, a high-quality preschool can provide him/her with so much more. There are many benefits to enrolling your child in a preschool program.

Daycare vs. Preschool: What is the Difference?

First, it’s important to know the difference between a daycare and a preschool. While both provide quality childcare services, that is where the similarities end. A daycare center typically provides care for children from birth to five years of age, whereas a preschool generally doesn’t serve children under the age of two or three. Another big difference between a daycare and a preschool is the curriculum. Preschools have a greater focus on academics and helping to prepare your child for kindergarten. This doesn’t mean that a preschool is any less fun than a daycare center, it simply means that preschool teachers incorporate simple educational concepts into play and daily activities. Overall, preschools are more structured and focused on establishing a routine for your child.

The Importance of Preschool

A good preschool program helps teach your child and prepare him/her for kindergarten and beyond. The first five years of your child’s life are filled with physical, mental, and emotional growth. Preschool programs help maximize that growth by providing an enriching environment filled with hands-on learning.
Some skills and concepts your child learns in preschool that will help prepare him/her for kindergarten are:

Social Skills and Language: Being around other children encourages language and social interaction through daily communication. Children in preschool environments typically have better communication skills overall, both in how they express themselves and in how they understand language.

Simple Math Concepts: Counting, number recognition, and shapes are a few of the beginning math skills that preschool introduces. These concepts provide a foundation on which your child can build during his/her grade school years.

Motor Skills: Fine motor skills will be introduced and encouraged with activities such as drawing, scissor cutting, and block building. Gross motor skills will be encouraged with jumping, running, and most outdoor play.

Literacy and Writing: Story-time in preschool provides so much more than just an interesting story. It encourages listening and comprehension skills, as well as introducing the written language, letters, new words, and story/book layout.

The World Around Them: Preschool introduces your child to the world outside of his/her home and family. He/she will meet other children and families as well as other members of the community. This helps introduce him/her to the concept of community and the rest of the world.

Introduction to Structure and Routine: Routine and structure are extremely beneficial for young children. Both can help minimize negative behaviors, which can lead to a positive, happier, and healthier environment.

Self Help Skills: Simple life skills like self-feeding, hand washing, self-dressing, and toileting are encouraged in preschool settings.

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The Benefits of Preschool
Shandy Marso, Contributor

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