Preschool and Kids: Necessary?
In 2013, President Obama proposed that high-quality preschooling be available to all American four-year-olds. Since then the topic over the benefits and necessity of pre-schooling has been hotly debated.
In addition to the problem is the hefty price for pre-schooling, which again adds to the parents questioning, “is it worth it?” Are there cheaper options or can we just send our kids straight into Kindergarten, bypassing pre-school altogether.
Here are some of the factors to consider >>
On average, parents are paying between $3,900 (Mississippi) to nearly $11,700 (Massachusetts) per year for full-time, center-based care for a 4-year-old.
Live in New York and planning on sending your child to Fieldston? Make sure you have a spare $40k per year.
“Children need to develop a healthy and strong brain architecture,” says Todd Grindal, an education expert at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “The experiences kids have in the early years have profound effects on their futures,” he says. Considering a child’s brain grows to 90 percent of its adult size by age five, the first few years are critical.
Academic Achievement // Benefits of preschool can be seen with higher scores in overall academic achievement, less numbers of grade repeats, and an increase in high school graduation rates – so this does show a significant benefit in overall terms, especially if you’re from the low to middle income brackets.
Social/Emotional Development //
“Nobel Laureate James Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago, has noted that the long-term impacts of early education on social and emotional development — the skills that allow people to interact appropriately and effectively with others — may be the most important takeaways from preschool.” // www.huffingtonpost.com.au
Socially // James Heckman argues that preschool is the time to teach kids the “soft” skills such as focus, temper control and open mind-ness. Skills they will need for when they enter the ‘real world’.
Also, research by the Ounce of Prevention Fund demonstrated that those children who were ‘at-risk’ and who don’t receive quality preschool education are 25 percent more likely than their counterparts to be a school dropout and 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime.
Can Kids Get By Without Preschool?
Many parents have the belief that preschool is simply daycare – but more expensive. Like preschool, they still socialise with other kids in daycare, and play educational games. Some experts put forth the argument that kids are better off at home with their parents, with daycare only being of real statistical benefit to disadvantaged children.
“Even those benefits dissipate over time, leaving children who attended preschool no better off academically than those who did not.” says Lindsey Burke, the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington D.C.
Writers for babble.com also make a good point in the argument against attending preschool.
“I want to raise my kids the way I want to raise them. As my children fumble through toddlerhood into being full-fledged kids, I want myself and my husband and the people I know and love and trust the most to be the ones to help them learn how to resolve conflict, how to share, how to use manners and function on their own.”
It can be a tough decision for or against, but it comes down to your position as a family, in terms of financial ability, work commitments and ability to care and educate your children solo, or not. Whatever the decision, I don’t believe there is a right or wrong one, just do your best!