What Are The Main Functions Of Preschool Programs?

Why preschool programs are essential:

Preschool programs provide early childhood education and care for children, and help them develop a range of skills that make them ready to learn when they start school such as:

Social skills: Social skills are the ability to empathize and interact successfully with their peer group, and also relate easily to adults.

Language skills: Language skills are the ability to have adequate language skills in order to benefit from experiences facilitating their cognitive, educational and social development.

Executive function skills: It is the ability to hold and manipulate information in the brain, plan and regulate one’s behaviour, problem-solve, and be creative.

Emotional self-regulation skills: It is the ability to adapt behaviors depending on the situation, to control impulses and to shift attention.

Self-regulation in learning skills: It is the ability to postpone immediate satisfaction to attain long-term goals, sustains attention, be persistent, and remain concentrated.

Preschool programs are particularly successful in giving children from vulnerable families a boost, putting them on even footing with more affluent families as they prepare to start school.

Early childhood is a crucial stage of life in terms of a child's physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Growth of mental and physical abilities progress at an astounding rate and a very high proportion of learning take place from birth to age six. It is a time when children particularly need high quality personal care and learning experiences.

First three years:

During the first three years parents will be the main influence in the child’s learning experience and education. What parents do and expose their children to have a vast impact on the development of the child. Parents sometimes forget that an interested parent can have a tremendous impact on a child’s education at any age. If the parents choose to participate in a early childhood development in Mothers and Toddlers group or child-care arrangements, including family babysitting or center-based child care, these all have the potential to provide high-quality, individualized, responsive, and stimulating experiences that will influence the child’s learning experience. With this in mind, a child in a negative environment could also result in negative effects as well. This fact makes it essential that the environment that the child is placed in during these early years be as positive and intellectually stimulating as possible.

Infants and toddlers begin to recognize familiar objects and to formulate the laws that systematically govern their properties. With encouragement through books and interaction, toddlers soon pick up vocabulary. It is really useful to understand how language unfolds. The first words that toddlers learn are normally the names of familiar people and objects around them. Then they learn words that stand for actions. Only then do they start to have the words that describe their world, that are about ideas. This development is usually in the second part of the second year of life. A parent or caregiver can have a vast impact on a child’s speech development by the amount of time that is spent talking with and reading to a child.

Caregivers need presence, time, words, print, and intention to share language and literacy with infants and toddlers. All five qualities are important but it is intention that can turn a physical act like putting away toys or lining up at preschool into a delightful learning experience. Even a trip to the grocery store can be turned into a vocabulary lesson about colors and the names of fruits.

Importance of play:

Child development experts agree that play is very important in the learning and emotional development of all children. Play is multi-faceted. Although it should be a fun experience for the child, often many skills can be learned through play. Play in early childhood helps children learn relationship and social skills, and develop values and ethics, Play should always be considered an essential part of a child’s early education.

Functional play helps children to develop motor and practice skills. This kind of play is normally done with toys or objects that are stack-able, can be filled with water or sand or playing outdoors. Water play or sand play is a favorite amongst pre-school children and a valuable teaching tool. This type of play can make up about 50% of the type of play that toddler through 3 year-old children practice.

Playing games that have a definite structure or rules do not become dominant until children start to enter elementary school. Board games, simple card games, ball games or skipping games that have specific rules will teach children cooperation, mutual understanding, and logical thinking.

A playground can be a turned into a learning experience for a child. Although a playground traditionally has certain elements, these elements may pose an unsafe surrounding for your child if the equipment is not properly supervised or built of unsafe materials. A safe environment that allows gross motor activity is important for children.

Things to look for in a Preschool Curriculum:

It is important that when considering an early education facility, caregivers and teacher in the facility have knowledge of the cultural supports for the language and literacy learning of the children and families they are serving. They need to have sufficient skills in guiding small groups of children in order to give full attention to individual young children’s language and literacy efforts. They need to be able to draw out shy children while they help very talkative ones begin to listen to others as well as to speak. Caregivers or teachers need to arrange environments that are symbol rich and interesting without being overwhelming to infants and toddlers. Even the simplest exchange becomes a literacy lesson when it includes the warmth of a relationship coupled with words, their concepts, and perhaps a graphic symbol.Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help. Teachers recognize that children's different backgrounds and experiences mean that they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.

Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel secure about sending their child to the program. Children are happy to attend; they do not cry regularly or complain of feeling sick.