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Many parents wonder if preschool is important for their child and some feel that the skills acquired there can easily be taught at home by a parent or caregiver.
Research done on the topic has found that all children, no matter their background, benefit academically from time in preschool. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), "Children who attend high-quality preschool enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills than those who do not."
In addition to academic benefits, preschool provides other benefits for small children. Here are some of the additional benefits of preschool.
- Independence: Preschool fosters a feeling of independence in small children as they are able to step away from their primary caregivers and do many things on their own. For example, most preschools require that students be potty trained so that they can use the restroom on their own. Completing a bathroom routine of using the toilet, pulling up their own pants and then washing their hands inspires independence.
- Basic Social Skills: Being around other children helps preschoolers develop an awareness of others. They learn how to interact and begin to know that they must share and treat others with kindness. Children also learn that there are rules outside the home that must be obeyed and how to handle discipline when it is administered by other adults.
- Student Training: One of the best benefits of preschool (in the opinion of many elementary school educators) is the training to be a student. This includes learning how to raise your hand, wait your turn, yield to others, sit quietly, stand in a line, etc.
Preschool provides many benefits for children and allows parents to focus on having fun with their children in their formative years.