The evidence has been mounting for decades: Preschool can help children learn and grow in their earliest years, which in turn can change the trajectories of their lives.
For young children, every experience or encounter presents a learning opportunity. They learn from everything they see, do, hear, feel, smell, and taste; everyone they interact (talk, play, laugh) with; and everywhere they go.
Studies suggest that quality preschool offers a range of benefits to children, as well as to their families and their communities. In a recent report, childhood education specialists argued that preschool children learn best when they interact with their peers, receive kind treatment from their parents and educators, and don’t feel pressured to learn.
The specialists also suggested that children learn the most when educational and instructional activities make up a small segment of their days, which is something that quality preschool programs emphasize.
Some of the advantages of early childhood education include:
Improved social skills: Children learn to engage better with other children and adults. The preschool environment allows children to acquire vital skills that allow them to listen to others and express their own ideas, make friends, share, cooperate, and become accountable for their actions.
Better performance in grade school: Children who receive early education are known to have a reduced need for special education instruction in elementary school and beyond. Quality preschool programs help to build a strong foundation for the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and social development that prepare them for a lifetime.
Improved attention spans: Children are inclined to be curious and interested in discovering new things. Quality early childhood programs maximize opportunities for the discovery of new experiences, new environments, and new friends, while maintaining a balance with the ability to listen, participate in group tasks, follow directions, and work independently, all of which develop the vital life skill of concentration.
Enthusiasm for lifelong learning: Children who receive quality early childhood education are reportedly more confident and curious, which causes them to perform better in grade school. Children learn how to manage challenges and build resilience in times of difficulty; settle easily at school to reap the benefits of education faster; and acquire a long-term interest in learning different things, including playing music, dancing, singing, construction, cooking, etc.
Moreover, studies have shown that early childhood education preschool programs increase the likelihood of children graduating from high school with fewer behavioral issues, attending college, and becoming responsible young adults.