Attending preschool will help to prepare your child for kindergarten and the rest of her school career. However, preschool is an adjustment for children as well as parents. It is best to do what you can at home to prepare your child for what is to come during her time at preschool.
First, you will want to think about the difference between preschool and day care. Your child may have been in and out of various daycares throughout her life, but preschool is rather different. Preschool isn’t a formal version of education, but it does have more structure than a regular daycare. Day care is a place you can take a child from a baby age all the way through the toddler age. Preschool children are generally 3 or 4 years of age and they are placed with other children their age in order to enjoy structured learning activities. If your child has been in daycare before, the transition to preschool might be easier since she is used to being away from you and listening to other adults, but you will still want to prepare her for the change.
In preschool, you can expect your child to learn a number of things. She will do fun things like enjoy story time, paint, and work on other craft projects, but she will also get lessons in sharing, shapes, letters, colors, cooperation, patience and other areas. The skills she picks up in preschool are social and emotional skills that will help her prepare for her full days in kindergarten in future years. Teachers say that those who attend preschool are much more prepared for kindergarten than those who do not.
Each preschool has a different level of admissions and you will want to know what the ones in your area require. Some are easy and you simply have to show up at the school on a certain day in order to enroll your child. Others have a waiting list and you might need to get on that list early in your child’s life. There are a number of different schools that parents can choose between, but the basic difference is the structure and curriculum. Some schools emphasize academics more while others focus more on playing. Decide what you want for your child and find the right balance in your area.
You need to keep in mind that most preschools are private and they do cost money. They are not always open to everyone and you can expect to pay at least a little bit of money for your child to be able to participate in the program. The length of time the child will spend in the program each week will help determine the cost.
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