Four Things to Consider When Choosing Between Public or Private Preschool
It is widely accepted that early education and development of a child go hand-in-hand. Studies show that children who participate in early childhood education before they are in grade schools develop social and emotional skills, pick up the foundation of their education (such as learning their letters, numbers, colors, and so on), and develop fine motor skills and the ability to pay attention for longer spans of time. These are all attributes that make them successful throughout their educational careers.
- Faith-based curriculum. Public preschools are supported and subsidized by the federal government, and so they do not include any faith-based education.
On the other hand, some — but not all — private schools uphold faith-based values. If providing a faith-based education is important to you, opting to put your child in a private school will be your best option. If you are neutral or opposed to a faith-based education, there are variety of private schools who do not involve faith principles, so either public or private school may meet your needs.
- Educational philosophies. If you choose to enroll your child in a public preschool, the education provided to them will be mandated and facilitated by the state. Researching what teaching practices are used in your school district is an important factor to consider. Some teaching practices, such as common core, tend to have highly controversial opinions associated with them. Understanding these learning concepts and how you feel about them is an important factor.
Conversely, private schools do not have to follow the same educational philosophies that public schools do. Many private schools follow the teaching practices of specific educational philosophies, such as Montessori or Waldorf (to name a few). If there is a teaching philosophy that you particularly subscribed to, you will have better luck finding a private preschool that aligns with it than you will in a public preschool.
- Disciplinary practices. While the way the teacher interacts with the students may depend on the personality and characteristics of the actual teacher who your child works with, choosing a school whose disciplinary policy aligned with yours is incredibly important. Both private and public schools should have some sort of policy in place for when a child needs to be corrected (which is unavoidable when you get 20 or more preschool-age children in a single room). Before choosing whether to put your child in a public preschool or private preschool, closely consider how you feel they should be treated if they need to be corrected, and make sure the school that you enroll them in aligns with that.
- Structure. Many public preschools are required to be results-driven. A key indicator in a way school success rate is through testing. As such, the public school is driven to teach the children to pass tests, rather than fostering their talents and desire to learn.
Some education experts do not believe that testing is a valuable way to gauge a child’s learning, nor is it helpful in their education. Sometimes, private schools utilize play-based learning, which does not involve schoolwork or testing of any kind, to help a child the dock a love of learning. Having a love of learning is important attribute that will serve them throughout their life. If this is a value that is important to you, it is important to find a school that helps your child learn by engaging in the magnificent world around them, rather than memorizing facts.
Do you have any other tips for choosing between private preschool vs public preschool? Please continue this conversation in the comment section below!