Universally, preschool is a recommended program for young kids to take. Its benefits provide a long-lasting effect on their lives. Yet, some still contest the idea of sending a kid to preschool, primarily because it’s deemed as unnecessary as kindergarten in the USA. Is preschool not compulsory in the country?
Mandatory or not?
Since immemorial time, prioritizing and addressing the needs in early childhood education has been an issue in the US. However, preschool remains a decision for parents to make compared to compulsory kindergarten. The education practice throughout the country is at five years old; kids are eligible to enter kindergarten. It is mandatory in some states like Virginia, but it can be six or seven years old in other states. To date, Washington makes it only necessary for eight-year-old kids.
The reason preschool is not mandated when it is crucial to child development varies. Some think it is because of the budget—the US may not afford the cost to make preschool more accessible to many. It demands more funds and time. Eventually, funding it may mean increasing taxes. Another view on this is whether it’s about a political will or if leaders value preschool among other priorities. So far, the most popular idea why preschool is not mandatory is because its parents’ responsibility to take care of their preschool-age kids.
The campaigns and advocacies to make preschool and pre-K programs available for as many young kids continues. To date, places like New York, Oklahoma, and Washington DC can offer universal Pre-K. Meanwhile, other states have programs encouraging young kids from low-income families to enroll in preschool.
Will you send your kid to preschool?
Although it is not mandatory, preschool is a must for kids if we consider early childhood development. Every stage of this is crucial to kids as they reach milestones. Moreover, there are significant areas to nurture to underpin positive progress in young kids—the cognitive, motor (gross and fine), social, and emotional. Each aspect also demands care, nurturing, or guidance from people around children. It is valuable for parents to find help in fostering skills or intervention if there’s a hindrance to the development.
Preschool can provide a wide range of assistance regarding childhood development. Aside from promoting their cognitive and motor growth, it is where kids adopt social and emotional skills.
In the social aspect, preschool provides a class and community where kids interact and connect. The connection lets kids experience being with classmates or friends and caring adults other than their family members. It paves the way for them to be comfortable doing activities like group projects, playing with classmates, and more.
With socialization and school activities, preschool is also an environment for kids to uplift their emotional skills. They’ll learn to be empathic, respectful, or understanding towards others. Moreover, it is also where they can adopt self-discipline, confidence, and virtues.
Another importance of preschool is it welcomes young kids to the world of learning. Young pupils will be exposed to exploration, problem-solving, creative thinking, and more in a fun way. In the long run, these lay foundations that make them ready and excel in kindergarten.