Preschool is Our Introduction to an Educational Setting
Preschools have been around in Canada– and worldwide– since the mid-19th century. Sometimes called pre-kindergarten or playschool, preschool helps children establish a wide array of skills while introducing them to a structured day-to-day routine. The early years are critical for a child’s development and many of the essential brain connections needed to be a healthy, happy adult are formed during this time.
Research following preschool graduates has found both short- and long-term benefits. These benefits are not just academic either, as preschool attendance is associated with positive long-term social and health outcomes.
Here are some of the ways that attending preschool impacts children through high school and beyond:
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to sending your child to preschool is the academic benefit they receive from an early introduction to education. At Little Stars, our academic daycare offers preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten programs that give younger children diverse learning opportunities.
One study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used data from 4,000 preschool attendees from 1997-2003. The study, released in 2021, found that: “preschool can lead to long-term educational attainment gains through improvements in behaviour. Furthermore, the observed effects across demographic groups suggest that all students are likely to benefit from universal preschool.”
When compared to their non-preschool attending counterparts, the benefits found in the study included everything from higher graduation rates and post-secondary attendance to fewer suspensions and juvenile incarcerations.
Two of the four pillars of our curriculum are “immediate and global family,” and “respect and kindness.” Children who attend early childhood programs have daily opportunities to engage with a wide range of activities and people, as they make new friends outside of their immediate community.
Children learn to cooperate with others through play and coordinated activities while learning to share things like toys in a neutral environment. They work through new social scenarios like waiting their turn, standing up for themselves, and learning how to make themselves and others feel included.
A child’s early social skills form the basis of their life-long social skills, and research has shown that early development of these skills is a contributor to positive behavioural outcomes. Children with good social skills early on experience more socialization opportunities with their peers, and keep more friends long-term.
Confidence to be Independent
Attending preschool inherently gives children more opportunities to be independent by having them spend positive, structured time outside of the home. At preschool, they are encouraged to exercise their independence – whether by washing their hands or helping clean up without a prompt from their main caregivers. Children also are faced with different choices than they are at home, including those that may vary from their day-to-day routine.
Upon entering high school and beyond, an individual’s ability to be autonomous and confident will greatly impact their ability to perform well academically, pursue a part-time job and even do things like get their driver’s licence as they transition into adulthood.
Structure and Routine
Preschool essentially operates as a precursor for elementary, middle and high school. All throughout adolescence and their adult lives, they will be expected to uphold some form of responsibility. Preschool effectively introduces children to a consistent routine with care, and without the academic pressure they face in later years.
Having routines lets children anticipate the day ahead and gives them a sense of security. Preschool programs include multiple routines such as arrival time, bathroom breaks, and scheduled naps and snacks. Additionally, these routines give children the experience and confidence they need to manage their own routines in the future.
Several studies have shown that attending preschool gives children an advantage in terms of health awareness. It is a proven indicator of future health outcomes, with a developmentally-focused curriculum that introduces them to proper nutrition. In fact, the Perry Preschool Project found that there were substantial benefits that followed children into adulthood – including reduced smoking and improved cardiovascular and metabolic health.
We put effort into our healthy, on-site made meals and snacks to help form the habit of healthy eating and ensure children are presented with food that is not only nutritious but tastes good.
Sending your child to preschool comes with endless positive benefits. Contact us today to learn more about how Little Stars academic daycare, preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten programs can set your child up for success.