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Importance Early Childhood Education

August 14, 2015

Pooh CornerAs the start of the school year is getting close, I have been thinking about children in our community that are not yet “school-aged.” Research continues to show the critical role that high quality preschool experiences play with regard to student success once the children start kindergarten. In fact, a recent study conducted by Vanderbilt University shows that students who participate in strong preschool programs reap benefits reaching into adulthood!  While cognitive benefits cannot be downplayed, the psychological skills learned in preschool programs teach children how to be successful adults.

I recently read a letter from a parent that had a child in Pooh Corner Pre-School last year.  Here is a quote stuck with me,

“For me, the best part about his teachers at Pooh Corner is their ability to maintain a structured learning environment, but also recognize and respond to the needs of the individual child.”

We are fortunate to have access to high quality preschools within our community and region.  When looking at a program, I encourage the focus to be on the following areas:

Learning Environment

Is it a safe environment? Is there space outdoors? Are there a variety of materials?  Open-ended play materials and opportunities?

 

Daily Routine

Is there a consistent routine? Time for child-initiated activities? Large and small group time?

 

Adult-Child Interaction

Is it a warm and caring atmosphere? Is there acknowledgement of child efforts? Is there encouragement for peer interaction?

 

Curriculum Planning & Assessment

Is there a curriculum model? Are the staff taking notes about child behaviors?


Parent Involvement

Is your input valued by the educators?  Are you asked for information to help the teachers better understand your child?  Are you encouraged to visit, volunteer?

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I am looking forward to the school year for the school-aged students and I am also looking forward to seeing the pre-school aged children in our community taking advantage of the learning opportunities available through the Saline Area Schools and the greater Saline community.

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