Early Childhood Education, It’s Benefits, And What Parents Need To Know

Why are early childhood education programs important? Take a look at what parents need to know about early learning and the developmental benefits of preschool.

What Is Early Child Education? 

As the name implies, these programs provide an early (or before the start of formal elementary school) education for young children. Early childhood services include private preschools and publicly funded programs that provide full-time and part-time care, supervision, and educational activities. These schools offer age and developmentally appropriate lessons or explorations that help young children to build foundational skills—such as early literacy, math, science, and more. 

Unlike later schooling (elementary school), early education is not a requirement. This means parents can choose to send, or not send, their children to pre-k. Even though these programs aren't mandatory or required by the state, early childhood education provides benefits that parents need to learn more about.

Why Enroll Your Child In An Early Childhood Learning Program?

What are the benefits of this type of program? According to the National Education Association (NEA), early education can reduce the likelihood that children will need to repeat a grade, make it more likely that they'll graduate from high school, prepare them for academics in higher/later grades, and help them to eventually earn more when they enter the workforce. 

These programs provide young children with the skills they will need right now and help them to build abilities they will use in the future. Along with academic areas (such as literacy and math), children in early learning programs can also build social, emotional, and physical development. The social setting of the early childhood or preschool program gives young students the chance to interact with their peers (other children) and adults (their teachers) daily. This helps them to practice communication/language skills, learn about sharing, take turns, express their emotions appropriately, and discover how they are similar to and different from others.

Will This Type of Program Provide Everything Children Need To Start Kindergarten?

Provided you choose a high-quality preschool program, the answer to this question is yes. High-quality early childhood programs include lessons and activities that are the building blocks of later education. 

If you want your child to build specific skills that directly feed into your area's local kindergarten program, talk to the preschool's director or educational staff about the curriculum. This discussion can help you to better understand what your child will learn, which areas the program includes, how the pre-k prepares children for the practical aspects of kindergarten (such as self-care), and what you can expect from your child's development. 

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