"Preschool children are virtuosos of imagination."
Benjamin Spock, Scientist
Preschool (often also referred to as play school or nursery school) is a voluntary learning facility for quite young children before they actually have to attend mandatory primary school.
Sending their kids to preschool gives parents more flexibility since they will be better able to manage family and work life.
Although preschool has many additional advantages, there are also some issues related to it. In this article, the pros and cons of preschool are examined.
Compared to learning at home, preschools usually offer a better learning experience since teachers are trained and often also officially certified in order to ensure a good care.
Those teachers will be able to assist your kid in order to improve the learning experience and to close potential learning gaps.
Moreover, since those teachers are often pretty good to motivate children, chances are that your kid will enjoy learning and will therefore learn quite fast in preschool.
Especially in families where both parents work in quite demanding jobs, preschool can be a great way to give parents a higher level of flexibility since they will not have to observe their kids during the day.
Thus, parents can follow their career path and can still fulfill their wish for children. However, even though children can be brought to nursery school during the day, they still have to be brought to and also collected from nursery school every day.
Therefore, even though preschool gives parents more flexibility, there is still a minimum amount of time required to make all this work.
Another advantage of preschool is that children may be able to find many friends during this young age. While kids who are at home rather than in nursery school will not have too many social contacts, kids in nursery school will play together with many other kids.
Thus, the chances to make many new friends are much better in preschool and some of those friendships may even last for a whole life.
Therefore, if you want to offer your kids the opportunity for this kind of friendships, sending them to preschool might be a good idea.
Preschool may not only beneficial for children, but also for parents since they can share their experiences with each other and may get help with some problems they experience.
Therefore, those parents can learn from each other and the collective knowledge regarding childcare will likely increase.
Moreover, also parents may be able to make new friendships with other parents over time when their kids play together.
Children who went to preschool often also have it easier to adjust to the new requirements in primary school afterwards. Since they are already used to learning new things, chances are that they are better able to adjust to the conditions in elementary school, which may give them a head start over other kids who were not attending preschool.
We all have conflicts in our adult life from time to time. In order to be able to manage those conflicts in a proper manner, we have to learn from a young age on how to handle those conflict situations.
Children who attend preschool will often have it much easier to handle those conflicts since they already learned in preschool how to deal with different opinions.
Therefore, they are usually more tolerant towards others and are able to manage their conflicts in an experienced and calm manner.
Since they have to attend preschool at the same time on a regular basis, kids will learn to comply with a regular schedule.
This will be quite beneficial for them in their later life since in the job world, we are also forced to regularly attend work if we do not want to experience difficulties with our boss.
Thus, if children learn to comply with those schedules early on, chances are that they are also mentally prepared to do so once they turn into grownups.
In preschool, many different activities are offered to children. They can play ball or paint a picture. Therefore, your child may be able to follow one of his or her hobbies and may really enjoy attending preschool. Making things even better, the teachers will be able to assist your child so that it will learn new skills in the respective area.
Apart from their existing hobbies, children are also likely to experience new interests in preschool. Many parents only offer their kids a confined variety of activities at home.
However, in preschool, this variety of activities is usually much higher and kids may really get to know their interests.
Therefore, they may also be able to hold on to those new interests and may even continue those hobbies once they turn into grownups.
Some elementary schools also prefer children who attended preschool compared to children who didn’t. Therefore, it may be easier to get a spot for your kid in your favorite local primary school if you send him or her to nursery school before. Since in some areas, the spots for good schools are quite limited, this may also be another important reason to send your kid to preschool.
It has been proven by many different studies that children who learn something from a quite young age on will be far more likely to become really good in it. Thus, whatever talent your kid might have, it is quite important to support this talent from an early age on. By doing so, your kid may even be able to turn his hobby into a job later and may even make serious amounts of money from it.
Another upside of nursery schools is that they are often completely regulated by official authorities or the government and the standards for teachers as well as for additional staff are usually quite high.
Therefore, parents can be quite sure that their kids get a good education and that they are in a protected environment by attending preschools.
Thus, even though those high regulatory standards may be annoying for preschools and their staff, they ensure a high quality in preschools, which will benefit children in the long run.
We all have to learn to comply with the rules that are set in our society. If we don’t obey the law, we will get fined or even sentenced to prison. Therefore, we have to learn to conform with those rules that are in place.
Children who went to preschool will have a much easier time to learn to comply with those rules since they learn from an early age on to comply with the rules set by their teachers.
Thus, they will also more likely to respect other authorities later on in their life.
The sooner children get in touch with other children and adults, the sooner they learn to build trust with other people. This development of trust is quite important since we often have to rely on family or friends in our later life. By learning this trust in an early age on, children may be more likely to build connections in their adulthood, which may give them an important advantage in all parts of their life.
Some children also come from difficult family backgrounds. They are often neglected at home and will not get the necessary education in order to develop in a healthy manner.
Thus, especially for children who have to grow up in those difficult family conditions, attending preschool can be a great way to get out of this misery since the teachers in those preschools will try to take care of those kids and give them educational as well as mental support in case those children need it.
From the previous argumentation, we have already seen that there are many important advantages related to preschools. However, sending your kid to preschool also implies some problems.
One important downside of preschool is that it is often rather costly and could cost more than one thousand USD per month.
This is plenty of money, especially for parents who only earn a rather low income and many families will therefore not be able to afford preschool for their kids.
Although preschool gives parents a greater level of flexibility during the day, it still requires parents to bring their kids to preschool and to pick them up at a certain time during the day. The schedule for drop-offs and pickups may be quite strict in many preschools and parents will have to comply with the set hours.
This may lead to problems, especially for parents who are used to work quite long hours since they will have to pick up their kids and may not be able to attend certain meetings at work since they have to leave earlier. Therefore, preschool may also be a factor that may slow down the career of parents, at least in some companies.
Some preschools also do not offer lunch or only offer a pretty confined selection and variety of meals. Therefore, as a parent, you might have to prepare lunch for your kid every day in the morning. This is especially true if your kid suffers from certain allergies and is not allowed to eat the food offered in the nursery school.
Thus, preparing lunch for your kid may take additional time in the morning, which may imply that you have to get up even earlier in order to prepare everything before you can drop off your kid in preschool and go to work.
The time that you have to spend for bringing your kid to and picking your kid up from nursery school may add up in the long run. Quite often, many other parents have similar plans and there might be significant traffic jams in the morning. Therefore, it may also become quite exhausting to hold on to this schedule every day, especially in cities which suffer from high traffic.
Since preschools are usually quite crowded and a large number of children is playing close to each other, chances are that diseases can spread quite easily in those nursery schools. Therefore, if only one kid gets sick, chances are that also many other kids will get sick as well. Thus, chances for serious infections will be much higher in preschools compared to educating your kid at home.
In general, some preschools are pretty crowded and the individual support for children may suffer due to that. Teachers and other staff members may not be able to take care of all kids equally and some kids may be neglected. This may lower the individual learning experience and some kids may also feel lonely since they do not get enough attention.
Another related problem of preschools is that not only the total number of children can be quite high, also the children to teacher ratio may be too high as well. This means that each teacher has to take care of too many children, which may result in chaos since some children may not be supervised in a sufficient manner.
Therefore, before choosing a preschool, make sure that there is enough staff around to supervise the kids in a sufficient manner in order to avoid unpleasant consequences for your kid.
Some children, especially at a quite young age, may also not be ready or willing to learn yet. They may rather just play around and explore their environment at home than to play with other kids. Thus, especially for kids at a quite young age, it may be senseful to leave them at home until they feel ready to go to nursery school.
Some children may also suffer from serious separation anxiety. These children may not be suitable for preschool since they will often cry and scream for their parents. Thus, if your kid suffers from separation anxiety, it may not be a good idea to send him or her to preschool until he or she learned how to overcome this anxiety.
Some preschools may also have certain requirements children have to meet in order to be accepted. For instance, some preschools require that children are potty-trained before they can actually attend.
Thus, make sure to inform yourself about the requirements of your local nursery school and to make your kid potty-trained. By doing so, you can avoid unpleasant surprises in the application process.
Top 10 Preschool Pros
Appropriate learning environment
Kids will learn to solve conflicts
Variety of activities in preschool
Support of special talents
Kids may learn a regular daily routine
Good for children who are neglected at home
Preparation for primary school
Higher chances to get in elementary school
Regulated by official authorities
Top 10 Preschool Cons
Nursery schools can be costly
Schedules may be quite inflexible
Problems for parents who work long hours
Preschools are often crowded
Too many children per teacher
You may have to prepare lunch
Significant chances for infections
Certain requirements of preschools
Children may want to stay at home
Whether you should send your kid to nursery school is a question which is not easy to answer in general. As we have seen before, preschools offer many opportunities to children, which may benefit them later on in their lives.
However, preschools also have some downsides. You should evaluate all the pros and cons of sending your child to preschool in order to make a profound decision regarding this important topic.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master's degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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