As pointed out in a recent article, scientific research shows that's a child's formative years, defined as the years between birth and age five, are extremely critical. A child's brain is rapidly developing connections between neurons, and by the age of five, 90 percent of the brain is developed.
This means there is a brief window of opportunity for your child to develop cognitive, motor, language, and social skills. Choosing an accredited preschool is imperative to take advantage of this incredible growth period and give your child a head start. Here are three questions to ask to help you choose a high-quality, accredited early education program for your preschooler.
Are Literacy And Early Math Skills A Big Part Of Their Program?
Learning to read is arguably the most important part of a young child's learning process. Reading is required to continue advancing in their education. In fact, studies show that how well a child scores on a reading assessment at the end of kindergarten is an accurate predictor of future success. Look around the prospective preschool classroom you are considering for your child. There should be plenty of books, bright and colorful letters adorning the walls, simple counting games, and activity sheets for practicing the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and fine motor skills. Reading to the children should also be a daily activity. Ask the administrator for the specific goals the center sets for each age group. A good preschool will "graduate" children who are ahead of their peers when they enter kindergarten.
Does Their Schedule Allow For Individuality?
Children develop at different rates, and there can be a big difference between the ages in emotional maturity and physical skills. While the primary goal may be learning the building blocks of reading, kids need to have some free time each day to simply be a kid. This means having the opportunity for periods of free play and choosing their own activities. Physical play helps develop their coordination and motor skills while "make believe" time helps children exercise their imagination and learn to work and socialize with others in a group setting.
What Are The Center's Values?
For many children, formalized preschool is the first time they are away from home and out in the world without Mom and Dad. This can be a scary time, for both you and your child. You can both feel more at ease if the preschool you choose has core values you can agree with. How is discipline handled? How much structure is provided? Are the center rules clearly defined so that children know what is expected of them? Watch how the teachers interact with the other children, and see if you can "interview" other parents. It is important that your child has a positive introduction to formal education to prevent problems down the line.
To learn more, contact a preschool like D & J Educational Inc.