Child development begins the moment a baby is born, and it isn’t long before infants begin to explore their environments through their senses. Before they can even crawl or walk, they look, listen, smell, touch, and taste the world, as any parent who has had to quickly remove small objects from an infant’s mouth well knows. And as they grow into toddlers, learning to walk and talk, their quest for knowledge grows right along with their spatial range, their motor skills, and their vocabulary. As a parent, you want to do everything you can to encourage your little sponges to suck up the world around them, and preschool can provide a positive environment in which to foster the growing abilities of young children. In fact, preschool is essential to your child’s development, and the right facilities can offer myriad benefits.
The Benefits of Preschool
One of the obvious benefits of preschool is that it prepares your kids for the structured environment of formal education. Children used to doing as they please at home all day may not adapt well to the school environment. But through the part-time schedule of education, play, and socialization offered by preschool programs, children can become accustomed to the rhythms and expectations associated with attending kindergarten and beyond. While childcare facilities help children acclimate to a social environment, as well as providing time spent away from their parents, preschool has additional educational features designed to prepare kids for the formal learning process. Often, they will begin learning letters, numbers, and other information in preparation for the kindergarten curriculum. And they will be given the opportunity to learn how to interact with teachers and peers in an appropriate manner.
Kids don’t necessarily need to know how to read, write, and perform mathematics when they enter kindergarten, but those who are already familiar with shapes and symbols are more likely to excel. And equally important is their ability to manage their behavior in the classroom setting. Children who attend preschool are taught basic skills like sharing, hand-raising, problem-solving, and refraining from fighting with others. They understand the type of behavior that is expected in the classroom environment and are prepared to interact socially. In addition, placing your child in preschool will help to wean them from needing your constant presence. A child that is suffering from separation anxiety can constitute a major disturbance in the kindergarten setting, where a single teacher may have 20-30 kids. Generally speaking, preschool class sizes are limited to less than 20 students (and sometimes less than 10), so there will be a more favorable teacher-to-student ratio to ensure extra attention for the young pupils that need it.
Finding the right Preschool
Of course, selecting the right preschool program can be difficult. State-funded programs like Head Start are one way to go, but you might also be interested in Montessori programs. These schools provide children with a more creative learning environment that offers students the initiative to drive their own education under guidance and supervision. If you want to encourage your toddlers to develop and explore in a preschool environment that offers structure and socialization, as well as the opportunity to develop a lifelong love of learning, Star Bright Montessori provides exactly the type of program you’re seeking to prepare your kids for their entrance into the educational system.