Why You Should Invest in Pre-Kindergarten

Posted by Pine Crest School on November 5, 2018 at 3:27 PM
By Alice Rau ’20
With an increasing emphasis on the importance of attending a great high school, it may be tempting to hold off on sending your child to preschool to save a little money. However, according to studies of brain development and early childhood education, pre-kindergarten may be the most vital time for children to develop skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

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A great pre-kindergarten program is crucial because it sets the tone and lays the foundation for a child’s entire educational experience. Teachers who expose children to hands-on, engaging lessons teach them to love learning.

According to developmental psychologist and education expert Suzanne Bouffard, the brain develops faster during the preschool years than at any other time in their lives. In fact, neuropsychologists from the University of California explain that preschool-age children experience the most development in areas of the brain that control higher-order thinking and decision-making, with 85% of brain development occurring before age five. A good pre-kindergarten program will take advantage of this rapid brain growth by exposing children to hands-on experiences, which will increase brain development and learning.

So what should a parent look for in an early education program? The best pre-kindergarten programs teach foundational skills essential for all students, such as language development, cognition, approaches toward learning, motor development, and the foundations of social and emotional intelligence. Activities to hone these skills include reading with a parent or teacher, talking through open-ended questions, or even playing with Play-Doh. Programs may also offer children opportunities to be more creative, often with free play or art classes.

One thing is for sure, according to Bouffard’s The Most Important Year, preschool programs should never pressure children to achieve specific milestones, such as reading by set ages. Every child develops differently and learns at a different pace. Bouffard advises parents that it is unwise to choose programs that shame children or constantly administer tests. This may create anxiety around school and learning in general.

Pine Crest School offers a pre-kindergarten program centered around developing children’s minds and preparing them for the educational opportunities in their future. To learn more about Pine Crest School, schedule a visit on one of our campuses in Fort Lauderdale or Boca Raton, or contact the Office of Admission at admission@pinecrest.edu, or 954-492-4103.

Topics: 2018, Lower School, Admission, Pre-kindergarten