Understanding the Importance of Preschool in Children’s Future Development

Preschool offers children aged 3 to 5 a strong foundation for their later development. However, many parents still neglect the importance of preschool education.

Parents often have limited education about preschool’s importance. Moreover, some believe that preschool only focuses on socializing rather than academics.

Enrolling your children in preschool can help them practice their social and academic skills by becoming familiar with a structured schooling environment. As a result, children will adjust better later when they enter formal education.

If you are a parent still doubting the benefits of preschool education for your children, this article might help you understand it better. It will also help you understand how preschool impacts your children’s academic development. Read on to find out more.

Understanding preschool education

Early childhood development is fundamental for overall children’s development. Preschool plays a significant role in equipping children with basic skills in reading, writing, and simple math. In addition, young children who participate in preschool have been proven to have better health outcomes

Preschool curriculum is usually designed to support early childhood development. Activities such as puzzles, plays, music, and outdoor activities are usually considered the best for young children. Furthermore, preschool teachers are expected to teach children based on their pace and needs. 

Young children will learn better about how to solve problems and think critically by joining preschool. Plus, it lets children practice their communication skills by directly talking to their teachers and classmates. As a result, your preschoolers will gain more confidence and better character development. 

Read more: How to Promote Prosocial Behavior in Early Childhood 

Differentiating toddlerhood and preschool

Many parents still can’t differentiate between toddlerhood and preschool. If you are one of them, two famous theories related to human development can help you understand your children’s development according to their ages. 

Piaget’s theory 

Piaget’s theory highlights 4 stages of human cognitive development. The sensorimotor stage occurs during infancy and toddlerhood. This stage focuses on the role of reflexes, senses, and motor responses toward young children’s cognitive development.

The second stage is the preoperational period. This stage occurs between the ages of 2 and 7, including preschool age. During this period, children prefer using play as their learning method to increase their basic life skills.  

The concrete operational stage spans from age 7 to 11. It is marked by how children can develop more concrete logic. Finally, the formal operational stage occurs during adolescence, focusing on more complex reasoning abilities. 

Erikson’s theory 

Erikson’s theory outlines 8 stages of human psychosocial development based on specific age ranges. It highlights the relationship between individual growth and social influences. Furthermore, the theory focuses on the importance of positive psychosocial development for human beings. 

Young children ages 18 months to 3 years are categorized as toddlers. Toddlerhood is the stage when children seek autonomy. One practice that parents usually do to foster autonomy during this stage is introducing toilet training, as it helps the toddler with basic personal control skills. 

Read more: Potty Training Tips and Tricks for Parents of Small Kids 

Preschooling is the third phase of Erickson’s psychosocial development. During this period, children prefer activities that include play in learning about language and behavior. Children at this age also have better emotional intelligence and communication skills as they are used to interacting directly with adults and peers. 

Read more: Navigating Childhood Emotions: Understanding and Encouraging Effective Emotion Regulation in Children 

Making the most of preschool education

Due to the importance of preschool education, parents are expected to participate actively in its process. Here are some practical tips for parents to provide the best preschool education for their children.

Choosing the right preschool

Choosing the right preschool for your children helps them to enhance their early education experience. As a result, your chosen preschool will help your children develop optimally while directing them to the values you believe in. Here are some suggestions and guidelines for choosing the best preschool for your child:

Find qualified teachers

Well-qualified teachers are the best for your children when it comes to teaching. Here are some aspects of preschool teachers to highlight:

  • Nurturing and encouraging teachers. These types of teachers are aware of the importance of creating a supportive environment that promotes curiosity, confidence, and a love for learning
  • Teachers who offer help instead of punishing. These teachers help children feel safe to explore, learn, and grow without fear of judgment. They ultimately promote confidence, emotional well-being, and a love for learning
  • Teachers who support children to be active. Teachers who actively engage and support children in their explorations and activities.

Find the most suitable curriculum 

Curriculum is the foundation of learning activities in school. It is expected that the curriculum can cover essential things that should be taught. Thus, the preschool curriculum should emphasize basic cognitive skills like problem-solving and critical thinking.

Preschool curricula should be created based on age-appropriate activities to support early childhood development. For instance, it should cover engagement, enjoyment, and meaningful learning experiences. 

Age-appropriate activities allow children to learn basic life skills and promote future academic success. Thus, a suitable curriculum will support children in maximizing their potential and fostering lifelong learning. 

Parental involvement

Parents are acknowledged as children’s first and most influential teachers throughout their lives. Thus, parental involvement within preschool education is also essential. Activities such as reading and storytelling are considered the best method to support preschoolers’ development. 

Here are some activities that parents can do to enhance their preschooler’s development:

Incorporate play into learning

Incorporating play into learning benefits preschool development and promotes growth in various domains. Play is a natural and effective medium to explore, experiment, and make sense of the world around them. Play can be important in early childhood development, and it can be implemented through some of these practices:

  • Incorporate imaginative play. Imaginative play helps children engage in symbolic thinking and learn to understand abstract concepts. Furthermore, it promotes brain stimulation, developing children’s ability to solve problems and think critically.
  • Engage children’s communication skills. Children become familiar with having conversations, telling stories, and role-playing through play. As a result, they will improve their vocabulary and communication skills and develop the ability to express their thoughts and ideas effectively.
  • Promote physical activities. Play activities such as building with blocks, drawing, and engaging in outdoor play contribute to developing children’s coordination, balance, and strength. Moreover, activities such as running, jumping, and climbing help children to develop their motor skills.

Introduce music and movements

The importance of music and movement in early childhood development has been noted as fundamental in preschool education. Moreover, children often view music as an enjoyable form of communication. Here are some benefits of incorporating music and movement to support preschooler’s development:

  • Teaches about self-expression. Music and movement can be used to encourage self-expression and creativity in preschoolers. Children can express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through improvisation, creative movement, and imaginative play.
  • Trains emotion regulation. Music can be used as a tool for emotional expression and regulation in preschoolers. Singing soothing lullabies or participating in rhythmic activities can help children manage their emotions, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.

In conclusion

Preschool is one of the most essential developmental stages for young children. Parental awareness regarding the importance of preschool education remains crucial, as it can significantly impact children’s overall development.

To ensure optimal development of your children, prioritize early childhood education and take proactive steps to enrich their understanding. Investing in your children’s preschool education lays a solid foundation for lifelong learning and success.

Now that you understand preschool’s importance of early childhood education, are you ready to actively participate in their new journey as preschoolers?

If you would like to see more resources on preschooler development, check out the Parenting Science Labs. The lab uses the research of the Institute for Life Management Science to produce courses, certifications, podcasts, videos, and other tools. Visit the Parenting Science Labs today.

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