Things to Remember When Choosing a Preschool for Day Care
Success in a child’s years to come is greatly influenced by the groundwork laid during the formative preschoolyears. Significant to the success of the child in academics and life is the balancing of the mental, emotional and social education and development during the years of infancy to age five.
Parents naturally want to find that their children have the needed reading and writing skills for kindergarten and 1st grade after years in preschool, but the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child has found in their studies that the contentedness and self-assurance that comes from stable human relationships are significant as well. The preschool program can make the difference in the whole development in children, harmonizing positive social relations and emotional happiness with academics that prepares the young students for further schooling and future life.
Because of the critical development that takes place in the young life before kindergarten age, parents should take special care in selecting preschool programs. They should look for schools that apply a curriculum that incorporates imaginative play with valuable and age appropriate academics. Such schools should have teachers that are caring and qualified. Evidence should be found that the teachers provide an environment that fosters the growth of the vital social and emotional sides of learning.
Obviously, helping children to learn to count and to know their ABC’s is important. Then, elements of life are also crucial like compassion and sharing, friendship and truthfulness along with inner-confidence and kindness. The National Research Council reported in the year 2000 that infants come into the world in a learning mode. They are born ready to absorb all they can from their environment. The report was titled, “From Neurons to Neighborhoods.” The swift learning and mental growth that happens until the child is five years old is phenomenal, and educators should be mindful of the part they play in encouraging the character qualities that prepare them to be balanced human beings as well as good students.
Preschools should be staffed with teachers who love their work, who understand the needs of balanced education at the early ages of their students. A quality curriculum combined with top criteria and caring professionals have the potential to help children be their best and reach their highest potential. Children can achieve amazing accomplishments given the right setting. From those who take care of infants to those who are teaching the five-year-olds, every teacher should nurture the balance of healthy physical, mental and emotional growth.
Preschool days should be filled with a mix of imaginative child-play and teacher-guided learning. Children should also receive frequent evaluation to note individual progress so that the program can be adjusted and modified to meet the needs of the individual students. Evaluations help teachers form a guideline for structured, purposeful and consequential teaching and learning. The potentials and heights that children can reach far exceed any expectations when placed in a positive and balanced learning environment.
Submitted by Dan Gilbert on behalf of Primrose Schools. Primrose’s BalancedLearning® daycare have low student-to-teacher ratios, ensuring that each child receives personal attention and loving care. Dan has written a number of articles on topics varying from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering.
Image by: Casey West