There are plenty of studies that prove that children aged 3-4 years-old who are exposed to a good, quality preschool program have more successful experiences in kindergarten and even beyond. The problem is, many preschool programs don’t provide the high quality that the children need for this success.
If you are considering putting your child in a preschool program but you’re unsure what to look for, the two areas that are most important and provide the best program are the “process” and the “structure” of the program.
“Process” consists of interactions with others, the activities that children are involved with, learning materials and opportunities and of course the health and safety routines that we all should follow. “Structure” includes the size of the class, the student-teacher ratio and the training and experience of the teacher and rest of the preschool staff.
A child’s socio-economic status should not determine the quality of his or her preschool experience. While statistics show that children from lower income families typically attend a lower quality preschool, it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, be that way. Every preschool has the ability to maintain the same high quality standards whether considered “low income” or not.
When choosing a preschool, speak to the administration and find out what activities are provided that will give your child the challenge that he or she needs; make sure they will have ongoing opportunities for learning and making the right decisions; that there are adequate interactions with other children both in small groups and larger ones; assure that there is variety in the program to keep your child from getting bored which can lead to disinterest in the program.
By making informed decisions based on the preschool program of the facility you’ve chosen, you can assure that your child’s preschool career as well as the rest of his or academic career, is successful.