The decision on whether or not to enroll children in preschool or an early learning program can be stressful for parents. They may not see the benefit to it, or, may feel that their child can learn the same curriculum at home. But in 2021, many educators are anticipating an incoming kindergarten class that is significantly less prepared for the school year due to lower preschool attendance and online learning in 2020. And, choosing to hold off on preschool can only be a “pro” if the child has a quality early learning environment where they can engage in exploring, develop creativity, establish a sense of inquiry, learn the skills needed to be part of a learning community and be around other children. Preschool programs with trained teachers and peers are a great place for young children to experience this type of learning.
The importance of early childhood education cannot be overstated. A large part of critical brain development in children happens before they even start kindergarten, and 95% of a child’s learning foundation is laid during the first five years of their life. We also know from research that children entering kindergarten with positive emotional and interpersonal skills have a greater chance of success in school. Plus, activities that support creativity, inquiry and investigation also develop healthy executive functioning skills. Executive functioning includes working memory, flexible thinking and self-control; all of which are key to healthy, daily living and most of which are difficult to learn through remote learning or at home without a group of peers and the guidance from a trained early education professional.
At Children’s Lighthouse, we’ve developed a proprietary preschool curriculum called Lighthouse CARES™ that was designed specifically to prepare children for school and life. The program encourages children to uncover their individual interests, talents and unique character qualities by participating in big group, small group and individual learning opportunities. Our goal is to help prepare our students for elementary success while also spurring a lifelong love of learning. And, if a year of online learning taught us anything, it’s that engaging, in-person education is key to ensuring your child has a strong foundation before entering kindergarten.
To find a school near you, visit https://childrenslighthouse.com/find-a-daycare.