Preschool and kindergarten mark the beginning of formal education for many children, but what age is appropriate for these programs? A variety of factors should be considered when making this decision, such as each child’s individual development and readiness. But what age is Preschool and Kindergarten?
While there is no single answer to this question, parents and educators can work together to create a learning environment that is best suited for each child.
What is Preschool?
Preschool is a child’s introduction to learning. Preschoolers are inquisitive and want to know as much about the world as they can. They are also learning important skills, such as how to make friends, wait in line and share toys.
Preschools typically organize activities and lessons around a theme, like animals, family or transportation. This can help children learn new things and make connections between different ideas.
The best preschool for you may be part of your local public school system or a private preschool at a day care center or other location. Many preschools use a curriculum that includes topics like language skills, social skills, math and science. Other programs may focus on teaching music or art.
What Age Is Preschool?
The preschool period is a time of rapid growth along a number of developmental measures. Early childhood is a time of blossoming creativity and imaginative play. The concepts that children learn now will carry over into school and inform learning for the rest of their lives.
The preschool period is also a time of increasing independence, as children begin to assert their developing sense of self. Parents will notice that their child’s language may become more advanced and that their child is able to respond with greater complexity to questions about himself or herself.
Preschoolers, ages 3 to 5 years, have boundless energy and an innate desire to learn about their world. This age group can benefit from a range of educational opportunities, including:
- Early literacy, like reading books together and creating art projects
- Socialization, such as interacting with peers in new situations
- Physical development, like running, jumping, dancing and climbing
- These opportunities should be engaging and fun while providing structure and encouraging creativity.
What is the Curriculum in Preschool?
Preschool is a time for exploration, discovery and fun. The curriculum in preschool usually focuses on the following areas:
Cognitive development. This refers to your child’s ability to learn and solve problems. Your child will be learning letters, numbers, shapes, colors, sizes and more. They’ll also be learning how to express themselves and listen to others.
Social and emotional development. This includes your child’s ability to get along with other children and adults. Preschool teachers work hard to help your child feel good about themselves, develop self-control, accept responsibility for their actions and learn how to get along with other children in positive ways.
Physical development. Some preschools emphasize gross motor activities (such as running, jumping and throwing). Others place more emphasis on fine motor activities (such as holding scissors or working with playdough). Most programs do a combination of both.
Language development. From singing songs to telling stories and having conversation, preschool is a great way for children to learn new words and develop their language skills.
Is Preschool Required?
Is preschool required? It depends on two things: where you live and what type of program you’re talking about.
Child care is regulated by the state or local government, if at all. The federal government does not set minimum standards for child care providers. For example, many states require child care centers to be licensed, but if a center isn’t licensed it doesn’t necessarily mean the program is bad. It may mean that the center meets state licensing requirements but chose not to seek a license for some reason.
The lack of federal oversight means there are wide variations in the quality of early childhood programs, and families have to do some homework before deciding which one is best for their children.
What Does Preschool Cost?
Preschool can be expensive. According to Child Care Aware of America, the average cost of preschool in 2016 was $3,841 per year for a private center and $3,106 for a family child care home. That’s about $18,000 for five years — and that doesn’t even count kindergarten or other grades.
There are ways to reduce the cost of preschool. You could work part time or from home so you don’t need to pay for full-time child care. Or you could find a nanny who will watch your kids at home for less money than it would cost to send them to school.
But another way to cut costs is to find a low-cost preschool option in your area that combines child care with education — what many people refer to as “preschool.”
What Is A Kindergarten?
A kindergarten is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. Such institutions were originally created in the late 18th century in Bavaria and Strasbourg to serve children whose parents both worked outside home.
The term was coined by Friedrich Fröbel, whose approach globally influenced early-years education. Today, the term is used in many countries to describe a variety of educational institutions and learning spaces for children ranging from two to seven years of age, based on a variety of teaching methods.
What Age Is Kindergarten?
In the United States, kindergarten is a free education program for children between five and six years old. It is one of the first steps in formal schooling. In most areas, it is a part of the elementary school system. Some areas require children to attend kindergarten before being admitted to grade one.
In some areas, kindergarten is not required, but children may attend if their parents want them to. Kindergarten is also available for more than one year in some places. As of 2002, there were about three million children attending kindergartens in the United States.
In some places, both public and private kindergartens are available. There are also preschools that provide care for children from infancy through age four or five, which may be called “day care” or “child care.”
What is the Curriculum in Kindergarten?
The curriculum in kindergarten is designed to prepare children for first grade. Classroom structure and activities vary by school, but most include regular lessons in reading, writing and math. Kindergarten curriculum also includes art, science, music and physical education.
In kindergarten, students learn basic reading skills, including how to recognize letters and the sounds they make. They also learn how to read simple words and sentences, usually with the help of a picture book. They may also begin learning how to write short passages or sentences. Kindergarteners are typically introduced to basic math concepts, including numbers up to 10 or 20. Students may also be taught concepts such as addition, subtraction or measurement.
Kindergarten curriculum often includes activities that expand on classroom lessons. For example, if students are learning about shapes in class, their teacher might have them cut out shapes from construction paper at another time during the day. Such activities reinforce what students have learned in class and encourage further exploration of the subject matter.
Is Preschool Kindergarten?
Preschool is a great option for many families, but the preschooler may not necessarily be ready for it. Many parents are eager to get their child into preschool so they can start experiencing the benefits of being in school: social interactions, learning and independence. Is preschool really the right choice for your child, though?
There are many factors that go into preschool enrollment, but here are a few of the main ones to consider:
- Your child’s readiness. Preschool is designed to support children from age 3 to age 6. Children who have trouble participating in group activities or need a bit more time to adjust may be better suited for kindergarten or a year-round program.
- Your budget. The cost of preschool is generally less than that of kindergarten, but you should also consider what the cost will be after your child reaches age 7 or 8 — often when he or she needs more expensive educational services.
- Your time frame. If you’re thinking about enrolling your child in year-round preschool, consider whether you’re able to devote enough time to both work and taking care of your child during this period. Would you want to be working when your child is sick? Or spending more time with her in the evenings?
What Does Kindergarten Cost?
We have go through What Age Is Preschool and Kindergarten, now how much does it cost? A full day of kindergarten costs the same as a full day of preschool, but a half-day of kindergarten is cheaper. For example:
The cost for all half-days at St. Ann’s Head Start in Tuscaloosa, Ala., is $2,976 for the year, or $248 per month.
At St. Ignatius School in San Francisco, Calif., tuition for half-day kindergarten is $7,350 annually, or $612.50 monthly.
A full day at St. Ann’s costs $4,620 per year, or $385 per month.
At St. Ignatius School in San Francisco, tuition for full-day kindergarten is $15,300 annually, or $1,275 monthly.
What Age Does Preschool Start?
Preschools vary widely, and you can find half-day and full-day programs at both government-supported or private institutions. They are usually run by teachers who are certified, but the standards for certification vary from state to state.
Private preschools may require that you pay tuition, while public ones might be free or subsidized. Some preschools are affiliated with churches or religious organizations, while others are secular.
Most preschools begin accepting children when they turn 2 or 3 years old. If your child won’t be 3 until the middle of a school year, it might not make sense to enroll them in preschool until after their birthday.
Your child should have some basic language skills before starting preschool, so he can understand and follow directions. He should also have some social skills and the ability to play well with others, which is something that many children learn through attending nursery school or day care.
Preschool usually lasts for three hours a day, five days a week (part-time), or up to six hours a day (full-time). Class sizes vary widely depending on the program, but generally range from 10 to 20 students per teacher.
What Are the Benefits of Preschool?
Preschool programs are designed to give your young child a head start on learning, and many studies show that kids who go to preschool do better in school and beyond. Preschools can help children learn the foundations for math, reading and writing, but they also teach social skills that help prepare children for life.
Preschools usually provide more structure than day care centers, so you can rest assured that your child will be well looked after throughout the day. They also encourage play and exploration, which is essential for a child’s development. If you’re looking for a preschool for your child, here are some benefits of preschool to consider:
Emotional development. Preschool helps children learn how to handle their emotions by teaching them how to share and cooperate with others, as well as teaching them conflict resolution skills. Preschool teachers monitor kids’ interactions so they can step in when necessary to help kids learn how to express themselves appropriately.
Social skills. Being around other children encourages cooperation and communication skills. In addition, children learn how to listen and follow directions.
Academic skills. Kindergarten-bound children are expected to know their letters and numbers before they start school, so going to preschool helps them get ready for kindergarten. Many preschools also teach basic reading skills.
Why Is Preschool So Important?
Preschool provides the foundation for early learning. I don’t just mean that it’s the first step in a child’s formal education; it’s the start of a child’s life-long education. Preschool is the best time for children to begin developing their social, emotional and educational skills for success in school and in life.
Preschool lays the groundwork for cognitive development and academic achievement. Children learn more rapidly during their preschool years than at any other time in life.
Preschool teachers plan specific activities to help children develop cognitive skills, such as reasoning, problem solving and memory.
Preschool lays the groundwork for social development and emotional well-being. Preschool provides a structured environment where children can learn how to interact with others and form important relationships that help them develop self-esteem, confidence and a strong sense of identity.
Preschool provides a safe, supportive environment where children can gain independence by mastering new skills and developing self-help abilities.
Children benefit from the opportunity to improve their motor skills — gross motor (large movements) and fine motor (small movements).
Through active play, preschool allows children to practice physical skills like running, balancing, jumping, throwing and catching on an age-appropriate scale without being exposed to competition too soon or with peers.
We hope this article answers your question about What Age Is Preschool and Kindergarten. Thanks for reading!