Starting preschool or daycare is an event filled with excitement and a bit of nervousness too. Both you and your child will likely have a whole range of emotions tumbling around inside you. While it is understandable that you may feel nervous, enrolling your child in a daycare or preschool opens up so many different possibilities and presents exciting and fun opportunities for your child.
What to Expect at Today’s Preschool
Today’s preschools are typically designed to give young children a head start on what they need to be successful in school as well as later in life. Lesson plans for preschool feature activities that are designed to meet the academic, social and creative needs of a child while also fostering a love of learning. Teachers often use preschool games to instill new concepts in children in a fun and engaging way. These preschool activities include ideas targeted to different learning styles — tactile, visual, auditory, logical, social and independent. These learning approaches aim to address different learning styles of children, as well as to introduce them to new ways of processing information.
Creative Activities Abound
A creative preschool taps into the natural curiosity of a child as well as their drive to create. Preschool teachers strive to craft activities for preschoolers that take advantage of the way the brains and bodies of these young people work. For example, while learning the letters of the alphabet, lesson plans might include the typical preschool activities such as coloring a picture of the letter and items that begin with that letter.
Other activities that are designed to engage children both physically and socially might include children jumping on cut-outs of letters or engaging in a letter scavenger hunt on the playground.
The daycare facilities of today are not places where young children are simply parked when their parents need someone to care for them. Instead, the daycare provider is as invested in the future success of the children as their parents are. Daycare activities do for younger children much of what a preschool does for those children who are approaching school age.
This is not to say that babies and toddlers are sat at a table and expected to produce reams of academic work each day. Instead, it simply means that the activities that a daycare teacher plans are all geared toward helping the child grow to their full potential. Toys that are engaging while also encouraging the development of social, physical and intellectual skills figure prominently within the daycare setting of today. This allows the teacher to stimulate friendships while also ensuring that key topics are introduced.
Starting your young child off at a daycare allows them to naturally segue into the facility’s preschool program as they reach the appropriate age and stage of development. Most daycare settings feature a preschool aspect that is designed in much the same way as a stand-alone preschool might. This allows your child to continue to attend the facility where they feel most comfortable, even as they grow older.