Early childhood education has caught the public eye, now more than ever. Recently, my grandmother came over to our house for a few days. She has always been a woman of few words, perhaps that is why, as I child I was always in awe of her. However, this time, her visit was somewhat different; not only was she listening more, she was also sharing a lot.
She overheard my discussion with my friend Betty in America, we were discussing her struggle with finding the right preschool in her vicinity for her son. That’s when my grandmother started asking a lot of questions about the preschool education system in America.
Here are some highlights of our conversation about preschool education in the United States of America:
The entire world recognizes the importance of early childhood education. Preschool education sets the foundation for a child’s future learning. Preschool education grasps two kinds of education – formal and informal. In preschool, the attendance for children under the age of six years isn’t compulsory. There are different types of preschools. From the non-benefit cooperative schools to the private schools, there’s a preschool that will fit every single individual.
Preschool education methods:
Play school franchises have private classes for children with ages ranging from six months to three years. Most of the programs are termed with toddler or tot, which accept children with ages ranging from two to four. Preschool activities include arts, crafts, music and educational games that are designed to develop the young learners in physical, emotional, social and cognitive aspects.
The quality of American preschool programs:
My grandmother was particularly intrigued by learning how American educators understand the need for striking a balance between autonomy and structure in their approach to education. The programs focus on holistic development of children by inculcating independent and social as well as life skills. The programs also involve sensory play, block play, music, movement, reading, literature, science and discovery, math, gardening, and field trips.
From preschool to college, the American education system enforces the need for attending field trips. Children have a tendency to learn a great deal when they touch, see and listen all by themselves. I told grandma what Betty shared with me – “Instead of sticking with the old school approach of classroom learning only, In America for teaching little children about animals they are taken to a zoo on a field trip, this way they’re more likely to learn more when compared classroom lessons.”
How accreditation helps the preschool education system:
Betty had told me that she had recently come across one of the best preschool accreditation agencies by the name of QualityKG. She said – “Preschool accreditation agencies like QualityKG analyze each and every aspect of a preschool to verify if a preschool follows their accreditation standards which are based on years of scientific research and academic experience. QualityKG is one the finest preschool accreditation agencies that help preschool programs to achieve and maintain high-quality care by bringing together preschool, preschool staff and parents to deliver the best in early childhood education. QualityKG preschool accreditation standards and preschool development programs also help in standardization and improvement of preschools.”
According to her research, the accreditation process doesn’t only have the input of educators and professionals, but it also takes the feedback and surveys from parents, students and other stakeholders into account. Preschool accreditation helps involve teachers, parents and preschool leaders to develop the overall early learning experience. Furthermore, the teachers who work in accredited preschools are equipped with profound knowledge about various developmental programs, and they follow minute details to ensure that every child receives the best in care, attention and education.
There are many factors that parents look for in a preschool. They look at the student to teacher ratio, the resources, curriculum, programs, surroundings, accreditation and so on. Among all of these factors, preschool curriculum accreditation has a far superior role. A panel of experts carries out the accreditation process with the contribution of teachers, students and parents. This not only benefits the preschool but it also gives the parents an opportunity to contribute towards their child’s learning experience.
So, when you’re choosing a preschool for your child. Look at their accreditation and understand how their programs work (even my grandmother agrees!). Try to talk with the teachers and understand their teaching pedagogy. This will help you understand what your expectations are for your child and whether or not the preschool meets your expectations.