Editor's Note: Louise Bannon of Wake County SmartStart is offering tips on picking preschools this week. Click here to read Tuesday's post on the importance of quality preschool programs.
If you’re thinking about preschool for your child, questions are likely jumping around your head like a festive holiday dance.
Should you start looking now for a quality preschool program for your child? Perhaps you’re thinking about waiting until it is time for kindergarten to send your child to school. Are you up in the air and seeking additional information before decision crunch-time hits? Above all else, what’s best for your child?
A quality preschool offers children the framework needed to build a sturdy foundation for life. The benefits – social and emotional– are undeniable. In a quality preschool program, children learn problem solving, pre-literacy and pre-math skills, patience and behavior modification. They learn how to take turns, listen and interact with other children as well as problem solving skills by learning to share. These social skills are vital to developing character and personality and should not be dismissed lightly.
Another area a child will grow is in the development of self-confidence and self-management skills. A quality preschool experience improves the efficiency and productivity in the kindergarten classroom. Children are learning how to follow directions, join activities, solve problems, all of which allows a kindergarten teacher to focus more on teaching and less on discipline. A child that has familiarity with joining a classroom community will be more prepared for kindergarten.
An additional benefit which should not be overlooked is the opportunity for a child to resolve separation anxiety or significantly reduce it. When at preschool, children learn that their parent will return to pick them up. They discover that they are not being abandoned and can relax, learn and have fun. This will definitely serve a child well upon commencement of kindergarten.
Most kindergarten teachers will tell you that a quality preschool experience will create a smooth transition to kindergarten. In preschool, children can build a foundation and love for academic learning.
To review area preschool programs, visit Go Ask Mom's preschool database and the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education website.
For additional information and important resources about preschool programs, including the N.C. Pre-Kindergarten Program, visit the Wake County SmartStart website or call 919-851-9550.