What Is The Difference Between Preschool & Pre-Kindergarten?
Essentially, the goals of both preschool and pre-Kindergarten are the same – to get your preschool or pre-Kindergarten age child ready for kindergarten. One of the main differences between a preschool and a pre-Kindergarten classroom is the age and developmental abilities of the children who participate.
Depending on state licensing regulations and enrollment needs, the appropriate age for preschool is usually from 2 ½ to 4 ½ years old. Regardless of the child’s age, the learning is very similar, with emphasis on learning ABC’s, numbers to ten, and how to interact with other kids.
During the early preschool years, children develop vocabulary and language skills, are introduced to a wide variety of materials, and begin to learn how to work with others as well as independently. Both preschool and pre-Kindergarten classrooms emphasize learning through hands-on experiences, and exploration.
Pre-Kindergarten acts as the essential bridge between preschool and kindergarten and are designed for children who are 4 or 5 years old. While each child develops at his or her own pace, activities in pre-Kindergarten programs are focused on developing the skills and more advanced learning they’ll need to ensure success in kindergarten.
Why Is Pre-Kindergarten Important?
Research has shown that young children who participate in high-quality pre-Kindergarten programs enter school more ready to learn than their peers. A study in Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia found that children in state pre-Kindergarten scored 31 percent higher on vocabulary tests and 44 percent higher on math tests than those of non-participants, placing them three to four months ahead of non-participants.
According to the Urban Child Institutes, school readiness, i.e., the cognitive, behavioral and social skills that help a child perform at an appropriate level in school, is a good predictor of long-term achievement. Research suggests that there are four key dimensions of readiness – language and literacy, thinking skills, self-control, and self-confidence.
When these four foundations are strong, a child is ready to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. When a child enters kindergarten lacking the necessary skills to be successful, it’s much hard for him or her to keep up with their peers and move forward.
Pre-Kindergarten is also useful because many students need an extra year to get used to a classroom, and an educational environment where they can get excited about learning. Pre-Kindergarten can help a child develop confidence, making it easier to master concepts and learn to cooperate with their peers.
If you’re interested in a private school pre-Kindergarten program, consider our Strelitz Early Years Program. Our teachers guide students in a loving and nurturing environment which encourages language development, creativity, logical thinking, problem-solving and exploration of the world.
We know Early Childhood Education teaches emotional and social lessons along with basic educational skills. That’s why the staff, administration, and teachers of Strelitz International Academy believe in inquiry-based education rather than the standardized curriculums used in public school.
It’s also a reason why we chose to meet the rigorous demands necessary to become an International Baccalaureate (IB®) school, offering their Primary Years Programme (PYP) to students between the ages of 3 and 12 (kindergarten through 5th grade).
We invite you to come join us, learn more about our curriculum and our dedication to helping children learn so we can get their journey started. Give us a call at 757-424-4327.