These days, it’s never too early to start preparing your child for success in the future. You may think your child is too young to begin their education, but the latest research shows otherwise. The research points to a growing and detectable difference in academic performance between children who took part in preschool programs and those who didn’t. These findings are being referred to as the “Preschool Gap”. The benefits of early childhood education are becoming clearer with each passing school year, as researchers and educators pay more attention to the progress of students as they continue schooling.
How Young Is Too Young?
Most preschools will accept your child as early as their third birthday. Getting your child into a quality preschool as soon as possible will give them the biggest head start towards their educational future. Usually, you’ll be able to choose a full-time or part-time program. This depends on your specific needs.
You’ll want to begin researching preschools for your child about one year before you plan for them to attend. This will give you plenty of time to learn all about the available programs in your area. You want to choose one that will benefit your child most.
What Your Child Will Gain
The most current preschool vs. no preschool statistics point to a preschool achievement gap that shows as early as kindergarten. When your child is in preschool, they’ll be exposed to basic concepts like numbers, letters, and shapes. They will also begin to socialize in a learning environment. This will teach them how to interact with teachers and other students. This type of early childhood education is important because it means your child will have the skills they need to be productive learners.
How Much of a Difference Preschool Can Make?
It’s hard to overstate the long-term benefits of early childhood education. One major study, known as the Perry Preschool Study, examined some children who attended preschool and some who did not. The participants were monitored all the way up to the age of 40. The scope of the preschool gap couldn’t have been clearer.
The major findings of the study showed that the group who attended preschool had significant advantages over those who did not. The preschool group was:
- More likely to graduate from high school
- More likely to hold a job
- More likely to earn more money
- Less likely to commit crimes
How to Choose a Preschool Wisely
One great way to start looking for a preschool is to talk to other parents. You’ll want to find out what they experienced with their preschool children. Plan to visit potential schools so you can get an idea of how they function. It’s important that the school you choose for your child offers many varied activities which will stimulate your child’s mind, body and imagination. Art projects, music, physical activity, and language introduction are all excellent areas of focus.
You’ll also want to make sure your child will be in good hands. Try to meet and talk to as many of the staff as you can. This is so you’ll feel comfortable entrusting your child to them. Ask them how they handle security, including how they will make sure that your child is only allowed to be picked up by you or people you’ve designated. An excellent example of a trustworthy preschool is in Justin, TX. They’ve designed an educational program to enrich and interest your child. They always have the best interests and safety of their students at heart. You can never be too careful with your child, and neither should their preschool.
Putting It All Together
Your child deserves to have every opportunity to succeed. As a parent, you should be making sure you provide them with the tools and advantages to do exactly that. Choosing a preschool for your child is a first and all-important step to helping them along the path of educational excellence. You’ll be guaranteeing they bridge the preschool gap and are ready to learn as they grow. The skills they gain now will put them in a position to lead a thoughtful, productive, and fulfilling life. They may never know how much of a difference it made, but you’ll know that you gave them the best possible start that you could. A little bit of care and early planning can go a long way.