At Valley Child Care & Learning Center, our childcare programs begin at six weeks old and transition with your child through toddler years and into a full preschool program at three years old! Because change can be hard for young children (and their parents!) our programs are ideal because they give families peace of mind knowing they have a safe, reliable and high quality program to care for their little one through their fundamental 0 – 5 years!
While many families begin enrollment with us in our infant program and continue through preschool, we welcome children to enroll at any age. A frequent question we receive from parents in Phoenix is, “when should kids start preschool?” There is no hard and fast rule to determine whether or not your child is ready for preschool, but there are a number of telltale signs and things you can do at home to support your little one getting ready to take the next step in their education.
If you are located in Arizona and are in need of the top daycare and learning center services in your area, then look no further than Valley Child Care & Learning Centers. We have played a vital role in helping children receive the education they need to learn and grow with their peers since 1967, and we continue to do so today. With 9 convenient childcare and preschool programs in the Valley including Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Tempe, Anthem, Glendale, El Mirage and Surprise, we make it easy for you to find the best daycare in your area with ease. If you are considering enrolling your child in preschool, but are unsure of what to expect with this big transition, continue reading below to learn more!
Why Do Kids Need Preschool?
For some families, the decision to enroll their child in a childcare or preschool program comes from a place of necessity, so that the parent or guardian can work. In alternative scenarios, families have the option of sending their child to preschool or choosing to keep them home until they transition into Kindergarten. The question often arises, “do kids really even need preschool?” Our answer – “yes!”
“Key early childhood research studies demonstrated that high-quality care and education from birth through age 5 results in higher IQ scores, higher school graduation rates and lower crime rates. Young children with high-quality experiences have also been shown to have better vocabulary, language, math and social skills, more positive relationships with classmates, and higher scores on school-readiness assessments.” – First Things First
What To Look For In A High-Quality Preschool Program
A recent study surveying Kindergarten teachers reported that before any child can be succesful meeting academic goals they must first be able to comfortably interact in a classroom. This means that children who are able to receive instruction and redirection from the instructor, appropriately interact with peers and settle their body so that they are open to learning are the most succesful when beginning kindergarten! The good news is, these are all skills built on in a high-quality preschool setting!
For parents, the opportunity to enroll a child in preschool also provides a source of support and resources for the 0-5 years. At Valley Child Care & Learning Center, we provide consistent assessments and evaluations of children’s cognitive and developmental milestones. Because we offer an preschool experience that is age appropriate and designed to meet the needs of each infant, toddler and preschool age child individually, we partner with families to help children achieve all fundamental milestones and graduate ready to succed in Kindergarten, and beyond!
What Do I Do About Separation Anxiety?
While a completely normal and age appropriate part of development in children ages 0 – 5, seperation anxiety is something that can be incredibly challenging. For some children, symptoms of anxiety begin immediately upon enrollment, for others, they begin after a few days or even weeks of attendance. In either case, our staff is well prepared to support your little one through these big emotions as well as be in consistent communication with you on their wellbeing. Our programs offer the option to call and check in on your little one through out the day as well as closed circuit monitoring systems available via a monitor at the front desk. (For enhanced safety, this monitoring system is not available to view online.) If seperation anxiety is something your child struggles with there are several things you can do to aid in this transition –
Talk openly and often about them starting preschool, what the routine will look like, emphasize and remind your child that you will always come back for them and that they will be safe.
Invite your child to tour the program with you, more than once if necessary! If your child has a chance to become familiar with the program during a tour it can greatly help on their first day!
Add titles to your family library that talk about starting preschool, you can find some of our favorites here!
Also check out, “How To Ease Your Child’s Seperation Anxiety”
Deciding when your child is ready for preschool is something that is different for every child. As you begin to work towards this milestone you may want to start searching and touring childcare and preschool programs within your area before the need becomes urgent. Touring at a relaxed pace allows you to take your time, tour multiple times if you’d like and get an understanding of the program and if it will be the right fit for your child. While some programs require you to call ahead and schedule an appointment to tour, Valley Child Care & Learning Center maintains an open door policy and welcomes tours at any time!
Find A Location Near You!
These are just a few of the many questions that are sure to arise as you begin your search for a childcare or preschool program in Phoenix. We welcome your questions and are always available to support your family through this important transition. In fact, if you would like to view any of our program locations throughout Phoenix, we are happy to give you a thorough tour of our daycare or learning centers so that you can rest easy knowing that your little one is receiving the highest level of education at the best preschool program in Phoenix! To learn more, simply stop by or give one of our nine, convenient locations a call! We look forward to meeting you and your kiddo!