It’s hard to send your child off to school for the first time, especially when they’re just 3 or 4 years old. But giving your child a quality preschool education will set them up for greater success in every area of life.
At preschool, children build a strong foundation in social, pre-academic, and general life skills that will give them a leg up in school and beyond. Research shows that children who graduate from preschool have improved academic readiness, lower incarceration rates, and higher earnings.
Here are 15 reasons why preschool is important:
1. Teaches children to learn.
Young children learn by playing. If a child’s first introduction to classroom learning is in an overly academic environment, they may fail to develop a strong sense of curiosity and be turned off from school.
Preschool provides opportunities for children to learn in ways that interest them, building a positive association with learning. The best preschool helps children develop a drive to learn that they will take with them throughout their time in school.
2. Helps develop social skills.
At preschool, children spend extended amounts of time with other children and adults outside their families. The environment provides plenty of opportunities to learn how to make friends, cooperate, listen, and build foundational conversation skills.
3. Helps develop self-regulation skills.
When children play and engage in activities with their peers, there will almost inevitably be minor conflicts that bring frustration, anger, and other emotional challenges. These conflicts provide opportunities for “teachable moments.”
Teachers can encourage children to notice how their behavior impacts others and practice interpersonal problem-solving skills. Preschool graduates leave class with emotional skills they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
4. Boosts pre-literacy skills.
At preschool, teachers offer a variety of games and activities that help children build pre-literacy skills. Children sing alphabet songs, learn rhymes that help them distinguish between sounds, listen to read-aloud stories, and play with magnetic alphabet letters.
In addition to learning these foundations, children often develop a sense of excitement and motivation to continue learning. Preschool pre-literacy learning takes place during activities that are inherently interesting to children, which builds positive associations with reading.
5. Builds a foundation for math.
Preschool doesn’t teach children math before they’re ready, but it does build the foundations for future success through fun activities and guided play. Children often play matching, sorting, or counting games, as well as board games that help students develop an understanding of numbers and categories.
6. Nurtures creativity and curiosity.
Young children have active imaginations, and those imaginations can be nurtured to fuel learning and creativity. The preschool environment is set up to encourage exploration.
Preschool teachers are trained to help children develop their own ideas and thoughts. They encourage curiosity, ask questions, and listen to children’s ideas rather than pushing “correct” answers or behaviors.
With a stimulating environment and the right adult interactions, children are more likely to develop curiosity and creativity.
7. Lets children make choices.
Preschool children get to choose which activities they participate in. That means they not only get to follow their interests but also learn decision-making skills and responsibility. Children are encouraged to make their own choices.
Teachers watch children and keep an eye on which activities they seem interested in. If a child seems unsure of how to enter other children’s play, they may offer suggestions on ways to join the group.
8. Teaches children to take care of themselves.
At preschool, children are often given chances to practice being responsible. Preschool teachers teach and expect children to wash their hands, keep personal belongings in cubbies, and put toys back in their designated spaces.
9. Teaches children to take care of each other.
In addition to taking care of themselves, preschoolers learn how to take care of others. Teachers encourage children to help each other learn skills they are more competent at and view themselves as a resource for other children.
Preschool children may also be given opportunities to help out in the classroom. Teachers may ask them to set the table at snack time, fix the calendar, or help set up an activity, for example.
10. Promotes language skills.
Children learn language skills best in a language-rich environment. At preschool, teachers help children develop language capabilities by introducing new vocabulary during activities and asking thought-provoking questions.
With ample opportunities to try new things, listen to read-aloud books, act out stories, and sing, preschool children have a clear advantage in learning to communicate effectively.
11. Develops cognitive skills.
Children build cognitive skills through activities that challenge them to try new things, solve problems, ask questions, and simply observe the world around them. Preschool emphasizes these types of activities, and children learn more as a result.
12. Develops motor skills.
While literacy, math, and cognition are important, brainy skills are not the only ones that young children should learn. Many preschool activities are designed to help children develop physical coordination and fine motor schools.
Children are challenged to develop fine control of their fingers with projects that involve threading with beads, drawing, or even cutting with scissors. Many preschools also offer daily opportunities for children to challenge themselves by jumping or climbing.
13. Provides structure with limited rules.
Preschool may not seem highly structured at first glance. However, classroom space is always organized to encourage social interaction and skills development.
Preschool teachers provide opportunities to engage in group activities, listen to stories, and work together with other children. In an environment with a range of activity choices, children can explore their curiosity while still getting used to structured activities.
14. Prepares children for kindergarten.
Kindergarten has become more and more academic over time. Because of this trend, some parents believe their children need a stronger pre-math and pre-literacy foundation in preschool to succeed later on. Others worry that their children need more structured play and opportunities to explore their interests.
Preschool provides both kinds of learning opportunities for children. A high-quality education program will offer children both protected play time and skills development that prepare them for kindergarten.
15. Teaches children to share.
Sharing is a fundamental skill in life, and it’s one that most children need to learn. Many small children are not fond of letting others play with their toys or giving up other things they see as their own.
Preschool will help your child learn to share and see how important it is. The earlier your little one learns to share, the easier it will be for them to make and keep friends.
16. Teaches emotional skills.
Preschool is a great opportunity for children to learn emotional skills. Your child will learn to understand and express their feelings in healthy ways.
At this age, children are learning how to deal with emotional impulses appropriately. Preschool will help them learn things like how to wait patiently for their turn instead of throwing a tantrum or pushing another child out of the way.
17. Teaches children to follow directions.
Following directions is an important skill. Adults often need to follow directions from bosses, maps, and product manuals. Children often need to follow directions from parents, teachers, bus drivers, and other authority figures.
Preschool helps your child practice listening and following directions from authority figures outside of their family. Children not only follow their teachers’ directions, but also a lesson plan.
18. Develops individuality and independence.
Preschool helps children learn to figure things out for themselves and take action on their own. Students have plenty of opportunities to choose activities, try new things, and master basic skills. They also get the chance to develop their own personality with a unique set of interests and gifts.
19. Sets your mind at ease.
Many parents worry they will be unable to teach their children everything they need to learn from them. They may not be sure that they have the time and talent to teach social skills properly, for example. Preschool can help make up for potential gaps and set your mind at ease.
20. Provides a foundational opportunity for growth.
More than anything else, preschool helps children develop the skills they will need to grow throughout their lives.
With improved social and communication skills, they will be better able to ask for help and cooperate. With strong pre-literacy, cognition, and math foundation skills, they are less likely to struggle or have a negative experience in school.
The emotional skills and understanding of the world that children develop while they are young will help them become constructive members of society as they grow.
The Best Preschool in Everett, WA
Northshore Christian Academy provides a high-quality preschool and early learning center for children aged 1-5. Our students learn through imaginative and cooperative play, including outdoor activities, art projects, and hands-on science projects. Social skills and independence are stressed throughout the day.