Your child’s education starts years before he or she enters into formal schooling. The preschool years are an important time for learning and growth. You can give your child an advantage in the classroom and in life by providing a quality early education. In order to ensure your child gets a quality early education, make sure you choose an educational program and not a daycare, consider the long-term impact of the program you choose and be an active participant in your child’s early education.
Choose an early education program over daycare
An early education program and daycare are two very different things. An early education program is designed to help your child learn and grow. The main function of a daycare is to make sure your child is cared for while you are at work or away. Daycare can be a good option when your child is very young. The needs of babies can be met in a daycare program that takes care of their physical, emotional, and social needs. As your child grows, however, an early education program will provide so much more. You can find a program that meets your child’s basic needs and provides quality educational programming. For example, at Fountainhead Montessori School the preschool program is for children ages 18 months to five years. In the preschool program at FMS, students learn practical life skills that are foundational elements of independence. In addition, students get exposure to a number of age appropriate hands-on activities designed to introduce them to a wide range of concepts. Take advantage of this unique time in your child’s life and choose an early education program over daycare.
Consider the long-term impact of the program you choose
The early education program you choose for your child will have a long-term impact. Think about this impact as you consider various options. What are your goals for your child? To gain independence? To develop a love for learning? To get a head start on learning concepts that are part of formal education? To learn how to interact appropriately with other students and adults? All of these goals – and others – can be achieved through a quality program. Looking at factors like the goals of the program, the teachers role, and the design of the curriculum can help you determine if the long-term impact of the program aligns with your goals for your child.
Be an active participant in your child’s early education
The benefits of your child’s early education will be even greater if you support the learning your child does at school inside the home. For example, in a Montessori early education program, your child will practice practical life skills. You can reinforce the learning your child does in the classroom by providing opportunities for him or her to practice those skills in the home as well.
A quality early education can set the stage for the rest of your child’s educational career. Take your time to research the options in your area until you feel confident that you have found the right place. One of the best ways to learn about a program is to set up a time to observe a class. Seeing how an early education program operates on a normal day can help you determine if it is the right fit for your child.