As a parent, you may have found yourself asking the ever-popular question, “do kids need preschool?” We’re so glad you asked and you’ve come to the right place! Preschool is an important first step in a child’s academic journey. Children who attend high-quality preschool experience numerous benefits. They learn important early literacy skills, social skills, emotional regulation, and are better prepared for kindergarten. Let’s dive in and explore these benefits and how they prepare children for success!
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How does preschool benefit children? Preschool skills set a foundation for future success and lifelong learning. Below are just some of the benefits of attending a play-based preschool.
Early literacy skills
Children who attend preschool gain important early literacy skills. At a high-quality preschool program, children learn to identify letter names and sounds, increase their vocabulary, and practice early writing skills such as writing their name. These early literacy skills are the foundation for learning to read and write.
At preschool, children are intentionally exposed to print. Preschool teachers label classroom items to help increase vocabulary, practice letter identification, and engage children in whole-group reading and writing activities. The more exposure to letters and words, the more prepared students will be to learn to read in kindergarten.
Self-regulation is a critical skill for success in life. Children who have strong self-control can regulate their impulses, have longer periods of focus, and can more easily learn new information. At preschool, children learn self-control in an age-appropriate way.
At preschool, children practice self-regulation in a variety of ways. There are many periods of waiting throughout the preschool day that require children to practice patience. Whole-group learning sessions like circle time or listening to a story require children to practice controlling their bodies and their focus. Other times, children must wait their turn for an activity. All of these moments help children practice self-control.
Better social-emotional skills
Along with self-regulation, children learn strategies for managing social situations and regulating their emotions at preschool. When children play with peers, they are practicing valuable social skills. They learn to share, take turns, cooperate, and express themselves. Playing with other children is an opportunity to practice communication. As children play together, they create play scenarios by talking with one another. They also practice conflict resolution. When children disagree, preschool teachers can support them as they learn to solve those problems constructively.
Preschool-aged children experience big emotions. At school, they can learn to identify their emotions. They can also practice strategies for positively dealing with emotions. Preschool teachers are trained to guide children through difficult emotions such as anger, sadness, disappointment, and fear. Children learn ways to calm themselves. They also learn how to verbally express their emotions to others.
Easier transition into kindergarten
Children who attend preschool are better prepared for kindergarten. In kindergarten, children are expected to meet high academic expectations while also navigating social-emotional situations. By attending preschool, children learn how to resolve conflict, control their impulses, and focus on learning.
Kindergarten can be a difficult transition for children, especially if the expectations and academic skills are all new. Kids who attend preschool will enter kindergarten with the background knowledge needed to learn to read and write. They will also be better prepared to interact with their classmates, face new situations, and learn routines.
What benefits have you noticed for your child after beginning preschool?