Research shows that early education leads to better outcomes in school and life. Children who attend high-quality prekindergarten programs are more likely to read on grade level, graduate and succeed in their careers. Because 90% of brain development occurs before a child starts kindergarten, these years are critical. The foundation built during the first five years of a child’s life can put them on a path to academic success. Early learning programs in preschools and family child care homes can help parents prepare their children for kindergarten.
Let’s discuss the benefits of starting your children in an early education program!
Developing Social Skills
Early childhood education programs help children develop strong social skills. They learn positive behaviors such as following directions, listening, sharing and taking turns with others. Making friends and understanding classroom routines prepares children for the transition to kindergarten.
Equally important during this time is developing emotional expression and learning how to cope with feelings. This includes impulse control and self-regulation. Children in an early childhood education program learn to recognize and understand their emotions in a safe and comfortable setting.
Building Confidence and Self-esteem
It is essential children learn they can excel at their own pace to help them develop a positive self-image. Children in early childhood education have positive interactions with other children and teachers that promote a positive, healthy and secure view of themselves. These interactions will allow them to approach situations and problems confidently throughout their lives. Positive reinforcement in early learning programs encourages children to attempt new tasks and problem solve. Building confidence helps children to explore their talents, skills and interests. You might see an emerging artist, baker or leader from your young child!
Learning Through Play
Early education programs foster exploration and discovery through a play-based curriculum. Children participate in hands-on and interactive experiences that develop curiosity and creativity. Additionally, songs, games, stories and conversations help develop a child’s language and literacy skills including vocabulary, storytelling, rhyming and comprehension. These developmentally appropriate activities allow children to naturally learn and grow. The excitement of discovery builds on a love of learning and inquiry.
Preschool is so much more than playing!
While the primary educational benefits of preschool (such as literacy and numeracy) are tangible, the advances children achieve towards becoming well-rounded individuals are truly invaluable. So don’t let your child miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fun and positive development!
If you have questions, please call 727-400-4411 or chat with a representative online at ELCPinellas.org.
*Presented by the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County | Originally published in May 2022