eNews - February 18, 2016

spec ed connection

Preschool can be a fun and important chapter in your child’s educational career. Many parents carefully consider the decision to enroll their child in a formal school program prior to kindergarten. Research supports the many benefits of a preschool experience for children from all backgrounds. Read on to learn five compelling reasons to embrace the power of preschool for your child.

1. Your child will gain a wide range of skills and knowledge through fun, interactive experiences. Preschool supports the development of:

  • Math skills
  • Literacy knowledge
  • Language growth

Perhaps some of the most important skills your child will learn will be in the area of social-emotional development. A preschool classroom is the ideal place to:

  • Build confidence and independence
  • Compromise and negotiate
  • Be respectful of others
  • Develop a stronger sense of self-esteem
  • Share joy!
  • To learn about the Preschool Learning Foundations, visit the CDE’s website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/psfoundations.asp.

2. Your child will be better prepared for kindergarten.

Preschool is designed to lay the foundation for later academic and social success. According to the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, “early learning is a significant part of the educational system and. . .the knowledge and skills of young children are foundational to future learning.”

According to research, children who attend preschool are more likely to learn to read and to become proficient readers, after enrollment in elementary school. In a 2004 poll of kindergarten teachers, the vast majority (78 to 93 percent) reported that children who attended quality prekindergarten programs were more likely to:

  • Count
  • Know the letters of the alphabet
  • Follow directions
  • Be sensitive to others’ feelings
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills
  • Get along with others

3. Your child will reap long term benefits.

  • Studies indicate that children who attend preschool will:
  • Experience increased academic achievement throughout their school years
  • Enjoy better social-emotional development, behavior, and conduct
  • Graduate from high school at higher rates than children who did not attend preschool
  • Be more likely to attend college

4. Society experiences economic benefits when children participate in preschool programs

According to the Ounce of Prevention Fund, children who attend preschool are less likely to. . .

  • Be retained in a grade
  • Drop out of high school
  • Require special education services
  • Break laws or commit other delinquent acts
  • Become a teen parent
  • Need public assistance when they are adults

5. Preschool is FUN!

Many of us have fond memories of kindergarten—playing dress-up, making crafts, and singing nursery rhymes. Although your child’s kindergarten program may incorporate some of the fun activities you recall, kindergarten has changed dramatically over the past decades. In many respects, the kindergarten classrooms of today resemble the first grade classrooms of our childhoods, with an emphasis on acquisition of academic skills. Preschools, however, remain a haven for creativity and play—so don’t let your child miss out!

Enroll Your Child in Preschool for Fall 2016!

Preschool enrollment for next fall will begin soon for most programs, so act now to make sure that your child will have a spot!

Visit these helpful websites to learn more about preschool programs and services.