Finding the Right PreschoolDoing the Homework
Preschool has been found to be a valuable part of the background of many students as they move throughout the educational years. Therefore, finding the right preschool sets an important precedence for their future.
Statistics show that three quarters of preschool age children in the United States do, in fact, participate in an academic preschool curriculum with other children their age. Results of other studies done show that among at-risk children, 25% are likely to become high school drop outs if they did not begin their school years with a proper preschool education. Another 70% of children in the same category are likely to be involved in a violent crime in later years if they, as well, did not participate in a good preschool as part of their educational foundation.
This sounds a bit inconceivable; however, it is true. Preschool is the very first type of community situation that young children will enter into outside of their own home. Until their preschool years the world of little ones consists of their parents, or caregivers, their siblings, and their home surroundings. A preschool atmosphere actually opens up their world to include other children their age who are not family members, and new adults, as well, who are not family members. How a child’s year or two in preschool is mapped out and navigated by both the child, the parents, and others directly involved sets an important foundation in the child’s subsequent years of education as well as many other aspects of his or her life.
Finding the right preschool can be a daunting process for parents. Preschool will be the first non-family situation that they send their baby out into, and they want to be sure their child is happy, safe, and will spend their time at preschool learning, making new friends, and having fun. It is suggested that parents begin their search of finding the right preschool a good year in advance. There are good academic preschool programs in most cities and towns throughout the U.S. to choose from. Most of these will offer tours during several months of the year, allowing parents to visit the school with their child, sit in on some classes and activities, and speak with administrators and teachers. In many instances children can be enrolled on the spot. Sometimes, if there are open slots and the child is ready, they can begin immediately without waiting until the following year. A good academic preschool program will greatly aid in grade school readiness.
In most cases, kindergarten students who have experienced a quality preschool education beforehand begin with a head start over children who have not had the same opportunity. A preschool education truly begins with the parents as they do their research for the best type of academic preschool activities for their child. Typically, moms and dads would prefer to move ahead with a preschool recommended by friends or family members who have sent their own children there and have had a positive experience. However, this is not the case for everyone; therefore, parents are encouraged to do their homework, usually looking for preschool programs located near their jobs or homes.
While doing their research, parents will generally find that preschools offer more than one program. With work schedules so diversified, administrators have found it very beneficial to parents if they go outside the box and offer a more varied schedule to fit the needs of more than one type of calendar. There are half day schedules as well as full day schedules. Children can also attend anywhere from two half days per week to five half days per week. There are half day programs that also offer before and after school daycare, and there are full time daycare programs that also have an academic preschool program for children between the ages of 2.5 and five years old.
During the process of finding the right preschool program, state education laws should be researched by parents to be sure that the school is committed to preparing the children for kindergarten. Parents should examine how the children are treated and that every detail about the school and the program are geared toward the children’s benefit.