Finding the right preschool

Summer’s nearly here, and the time is right for thinking about… School? That’s right! If you’ve got a little one at home heading for kindergarten in the fall, summer is the perfect time to start preparing them for academic and social success.
Whether your child has been enrolled in academic preschool activities for years, attended a more casual daycare program, or only played with the neighborhood kids, the summer just before kindergarten starts is still an excellent time to think about preschool. Academic summer programs can give a child the tools they need for grade school readiness, helping to prepare them for the long and structured days ahead or to practice socializing with peers, giving them an educational boost in the process, too. Think of it as a warm-up in the warm months for that big first day in the fall.
Preschool is by no means a mandatory requirement for all kids, but it’s increasingly becoming the norm. As of 2013, 65% of all children ages 3 to 5 in the United States were enrolled in a preschool program, up from 59% in 1990. However, that number increases significantly when looking specifically at 5-year-olds, 84% of whom participated in a preprimary program that same year.

If your child hasn’t yet attended any kind of structural school, think about what benefits of academic preschool you might be missing. The keys to a high quality education start at a surprisingly young age. Long-term studies have shown that at-risk youth are 25% more likely to drop out of high school if they never received a preschool education; 60% were less likely to go on to college. Set your child up for success as early as you can.
It’s not too late to get your child ready. Summer is a great time to start or continue preschool because it’s a shorter time frame than the rest of the year. If the cost of a good preschool seems prohibitive for two or three full years, just a summer semester could significantly help prepare your child for the grade school days ahead.
Sending your child to preschool isn’t about turning them into an instant prodigy. It’s about easing them into the structural and behavioral expectations of grade school so that, when they walk through those kindergarten doors on the first day, they already understand what to do. That way, your child can focus on what’s most important: Learning.

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