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Is Preschool Worth It?
Is Preschool Worth It?
Posted on 01/16/2019
Baby in blue graduation cap and gown with abacus

The first five years are critically important to child development.  It is a time of rapid cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and motor development.   Each time a child uses one of his or her senses, synapses fire and new neural connections are made in the brain. Repetition of new experiences help make new connections, which shape the way the child thinks, feels, behaves and learns now and in the future.  Early Childhood educators are trained to implement activities in the classroom that stimulate brain growth in exactly this way.  When a teacher or caregiver plays with, sings, speaks, reads or tells a story to the child the child's brain grows.  Each time that experience is replicated, the brain grows even stronger.

Additionally, preschool is a child’s initial exposure to school. It sets the tone for the rest of their educational career and prepares children for elementary academics.  They learn how to follow directions, raise hands and wait their turn, all skills necessary to succeed in elementary school.  Children who have a positive preschool experience are far more likely to enter elementary school and beyond with a positive attitude toward school and appreciation for learning in general.   

Preschool is the foundation for academic and social learning.  Oftentimes, parents overlook the importance of social-emotional development, focusing heavily on academics like reading, writing and mathematics.  While it is important that children have a solid understanding of these concepts, it is equally important, if not more so, that children’s social-emotional needs are being met and they are learning and developing things like: self-regulation, respect for others, a sense of self, how to problem-solve, compromise and share, building confidence, exploring feelings as well as learning how to engage in a structured classroom environment. 

It is clear, that the investment in high quality preschool and other early childhood programs, can yield economic benefits that far outweighs the costs.  Numerous studies have identified other notable benefits of early childhood education, including:

  • Higher standardized test scores
  • Fewer occurrences of grade retention and placement in special education programs
  • Increased high school graduation rates
  • Decreased crime and delinquency rates
  • Higher earning potential

Utica Community Schools Early Childhood programs nurture growth and development by incorporating active learning and promoting progress in all developmental areas, including:  social emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, the arts, and English language acquisition. Our teachers utilize Teaching Strategies' Creative Curriculum, "a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that helps teachers and caregivers to be their most effective, while still honoring their creativity and respecting their critical role in making learning exciting and relevant for every child".  To learn more about Creative Curriculum, visit our Early Childhood web page and click on “Curriculum” in the drop-down menu. 

Phone in registration for the 2019-20 school year will begin on February 26, 2019 for all in district residents.  Class schedules and home school call in times are listed in the Early Childhood Registration Brochure as well as under “2019-20 Registration” on our website:  www.ucscommunityeducation.com/early_childhood.