Looking for a Quality Preschool EducationThe Facts
More children attend preschool programs these days than ever before. There are multiple reasons why this has become the norm. Nowadays there are more single parent households, as well as homes where both parents work, which necessitates young children entering day care or preschool programs before they are elementary school age. It really is a win/win situation, however, as there are many excellent preschool education activities that serve to benefit children in many ways.
Preschool education activities have grown to include 75% of children in the United States who are between three and five years old. Academic preschool activities are shown to have far reaching positive effects on children throughout their school years. Statistics show that 60% of children who are considered to be at risk will not attend college if they did not begin their school years with a high quality education offered through academic preschool programs. In addition, about 25% of at-risk children who do not attend a preschool program are said to be more likely to drop out of high school.
There are an unlimited number of preschool education activities that are appropriate for children between the ages of three and six. Many quality preschool curriculums and activities can be used by any preschool or day care, whether the program is an extension of a public or private school, or a stand alone preschool. Most preschool education activities are very adaptable and can be used even in a homeschool setting.
There are certain things to look for in a preschool that parents need to keep in mind when searching for the one that will fit the needs of their child. When visiting a preschool for the purpose of possible enrollment, most of what parents will observe, to start off with, will simply be children playing. It is important to understand that play is a form of learning offered through a good curriculum which caters to the preschooler’s level of perception. Play is how young children learn to understand and remember. With the use of items such as toys and colors, children are already beginning to learn.
One sure way to recognize a quality preschool which offers preschool education activities that appeal to children’s curiosity is to interview the teachers who work there. Teachers should ideally be equipped with the information that will help them to explain the curriculum and the activities of the school. They will be able to tell parents what they are doing and why, in detail. It is perfectly fine for visiting parents to ask a teacher to explain to them the purpose behind an activity they are observing. It is also essential to see children having fun and being creative. All of this contributes to a well rounded, quality preschool education.
Classroom environment is also an important factor in choosing the right preschool. Low shelves and appropriately sized tables and chairs in an open floor plan are the norm for a well planned preschool. Some states require by law that there be a bathroom for the children right in the classroom that is visible to the teacher for safety reasons. Round tables or rounded corners on tables of other shapes are also a part of safety requirements. Cleanliness is important and electrical sockets that are covered are imperative. Any toys or supplies that children can safely have access to should be out in the open where they can be reached. Items like cleaning products and painting supplies should be stored where the children cannot reach them.
A preschool classroom should have clear division between one section and another. This helps children with their navigational skills. For instance, they know that they can go to the bookshelves and choose a book within reach and then take a seat on a chair or couch by the shelves to read. Blocks will be located in another spot in the room where there is plenty of space to build with them. Still another place in the room is home to play office equipment or a play kitchen. The children know where to go for whatever they want, and they understand the separation between the items.