A good-quality early childhood education is important in a child’s life. It provides them plenty of opportunities to develop their language and vocabulary skills, as well as emotional and social skills. It helps them to be successful in their future learning endeavors. While parents value the significance of early childhood education, the challenging part is choosing between preschool and pre-kindergarten programs. Both offer several benefits to a child. To help you select the best program for your little one, below are the similarities and differences between preschool and pre-kindergarten.
Similarities of a preschool and pre-kindergarten program
Preschool and pre-kindergarten curriculums are similar in many ways. They use the same approach when it comes to teaching. They promote learning and growth in various areas using the “play” technique. Play technique means that instead of having children listen to the teacher’s lecture in a classroom setting, they are given developmental activities that nurture their problem-solving skills, creativity, teamwork, leadership and more. Both programs expose kids to exploring and discovery through hands-on activities. Children learn science, math, art and music through play.
In both preschool and pre-k curriculums, social and emotional growth are valued and nurtured. Teachers in these programs create warm and safe environments that allow children to establish connections with other kids. Children will also learn social skills through daily interactions, mentoring and teaching.
Differences between a preschool and pre-k program
If there is one distinct difference between a preschool and pre-k curriculum, it would be the age of the children they cater to and the types of developmental activities they provide. Kids between 2 and 4 years are the ones attending a preschool class. Pre-k programs, on the other hand, are for children aged 4 to 5 years. Pre-k curriculum is specially designed to get kids ready for kindergarten. Their kindergarten readiness activities are focused more on structured learning and deeper skill building. Preschool programs have more play-oriented activities than pre-k.
Both preschool and pre-kindergarten have school readiness as the focus in their programs. However, kids in a pre-kindergarten program are being prepared for more advanced learning. The instruction is designed to help students develop skills in early literacy, math, writing, science and more. The kids are also given fun activities that strengthen fine motor skills. Pre-k classes can also be longer than preschool classes. The instruction in a preschool program is less structured as the kids learn the fundamentals of counting and ABC’s through fun group activities. They also learn how to be independent through simple tasks and learn social skills through activities that encourage them to interact with their peers. In preschool, teachers make sure that kids are still given adequate time to play and have fun while learning.
Looking at both programs, preschool is considered to be the extension of daycare. This is because the play-oriented approach used when teaching and giving instruction. A pre-k program, on the other hand, is the preparatory step to kindergarten that requires more formal and structured activities and teaching.
The Importance of a pre-kindergarten education
In a kindergarten class, the focus is to develop a child’s academic ability. However, for a child to be better prepared for the challenges that await in kindergarten, pre-k education is a must. Pre-k education develops a child’s skills in language and vocabulary. Kids are also given plenty of opportunities to develop skills through interaction and collaboration with others. These are the things that they will continue to develop as they step into kindergarten.
When you send your child to pre-kindergarten, they will gain more confidence to use their skills. They will also be able to work independently on various projects and tasks in the classroom. It will prepare them for academic success as they are given opportunities to build the skills they will use in the future.
Because early childhood education is important, every child should get the education they deserve. Looking for the best preschool in Atlanta? Please consider ABC Early Learning.