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Is pre-school good for kids? Or is it "glorified daycare"?

By July 30, 2008 - 2:54pm
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I was surprised to hear someone on the radio refer to preschool as "glorified daycare". My son started when he was 3. Still goes, about 12 hours per week. My 3.5 year old daughter will start in Sept. Their teachers are not "teachers" as the radio host said. They are teachers! They all have early childhood education degrees and all teaching assistants have a minimum of an Associates in early childhood education. The teacher to child ratio is very low, aboout 1:4.

My son has learned so much, it's hard to know where to start.Everything from reading and writing to nutrition, health and hygiene, arts and crafts and music and dancing. He has made friends, gets invited to playdates and birthday parties and is reading and writing very well, for a kid more than a year away from kindergarten. Not because he has to, or is made to, but because he loves it and loves the classroom experience.

But all that aside, he looks forward to preschool and his little sister is dying to go! They also have mandatory outdoor play and exercise and healthy snacks. How on earth could this be glorified daycare? And for just a few afternoons per week?

Does anyone feel this way too, or are there any teachers out there who could give their input? I'd be interested in hearing what anyone has to say.

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I am surprised by the talk show radio host you heard! Even some daycares can be considered "teaching" facilities, if you look at what the goals are for the children each day.

At the age of 3 years, children's "play" is their method for learning. You can see the concentration on their little faces, as they are constantly experimenting with objects, what their bodies can/can't do, interacting with other children and other adults, learning abut their preferences, learning how to "self-soothe" and "play with others" as well as play well on their own (some of these learned activities have not been learned by all adults, by the way!!)

In my educated opinion, I believe any atmosphere and environment where children are being nurtured, taken care of, left to explore, given boundaries, and are "playing" (learning!) is a learning environment that will help them grow, mature, become confident and know that they are well-loved. Not all facilities can offer these ideals to all children, and perhaps that was the radio hosts' intention?

July 31, 2008 - 1:59pm

While it's likely that not all pre-schools are on the playing field, I think pre-school prepares the child for school on various levels. Besides developing social skills, pre-schoolers these days are developing computer learning skills that will be important later on, as well as language and basic arithmetic skills. They are not vegetating in front of the TV or glued to video games. They're learning life skills, like putting things where they belong. Most of all, they're becoming used to a "school" environment and shouldn't fear getting on the bus that very first day (ok, maybe the second day, because you took him to school the first day, lol!).

My kids loved their pre-schools and the facilities were hardly glorified daycare centers.

July 30, 2008 - 6:39pm
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