US Nanny Institute on March 10, 2020
When children turn four years old, some states will have pre-kindergarten or preschool classes. The US education system invests in early childhood education as kids who attend preschool programs are often better prepared for kindergarten. While preschool is important, not all programs are alike. Preschool programs should be well implemented, use an evidence-based curriculum and place an emphasis on the quality and continuous training of pre-school teachers.
Preschool is more than learning the ABCs. There are both social and academic benefits to a good preschool program. Children learn about group behaviors – what is acceptable and what is not. They experience a modified classroom environment and learn about school schedules – reading circle, snack time, outdoor play, naps, etc. This allows them to better adapt to kindergarten.
In preschool, children learn about the world through play. Academic subject areas aren’t separated in their minds or in the classroom. The objects preschoolers find on a nature walk, like feathers, rocks and leaves, might help them figure out math concepts like “big, bigger, and biggest” or motivate them to visit the book corner to find out more about birds. Teachers may introduce children to basic concepts such as shapes, letters, and colors, but preschool is about learning much more than what a circle looks like. It’s about exploring, having fun and how children develop their relationship with learning.
Preschool is all about discovery, but preschool teachers should have a curriculum that includes academic, social, physical and emotional lessons. For literacy, preschoolers will hear stories read aloud, spend time talking with classmates, and learn to put their thoughts and feelings into words. Writing is mostly scribbling but shapes that resemble letters begin to emerge and children will learn to write their names. Some programs will start teaching sight words.
To implement the curriculum, preschool teachers can focus on language and math while incorporating science, and social studies. Numbers will be used to count as well as differentiate shapes, often using art. Patterns will also be taught. Preschoolers love to explore so teaching science revolves around observing and experimenting as they read about animals and play with rocks, leaves, and grow grass. Children will test what sinks and floats in the water table. Social studies can be introduced through learning about their role in the world, conflict resolution, taking turns, and helping to clean up.
Play is fun but it’s also how children learn to interact with each other. While in preschool, children will form friendships, learn to take turns and learn how to cooperate. While at the sand box or water table, children can try different problem-solving techniques and use their imagination. While thinking creatively, they can also partner to do an activity and talk to each other about their ideas.
Preschool curricula and activities depend on the length of the preschool day. Many preschools run for only a few hours a day, while others (especially in public school settings) run for much longer days. Some even run longer than a typical school day to cover all the parent’s work hours.
The US Nanny Institute provides online childcare classes with certification programs based on a curriculum specifically designed to advance the skills of Nannies and Sitters. The Nanny Institute has over 30 college faculty with a passion for education and childcare, bringing them together to help childcare providers gain practical skills and qualifications that benefit their careers and the children in their care.
Popular Resource Articles
3 Ways to Help Children Adjust to Daylight Savings Time
Spring Forward and Fall Back for Daylight Savings Time.
8 Ways to Celebrate Your Nanny Family on Boss’s Day
Boss’s Day provides an opportunity for nannies and sitters to show appreciation to their nanny families.
Babysitter, Nanny, Family Assistant: What Do I Need?
You have young children and need time to work. Childcare is a must, so where do you start?
10 Ways to Celebrate Your Nanny During National Nanny Recognition Week (September)
National Nanny Recognition Week has been celebrated since 1998 so families, agencies, and communities can champion the work of nannies and childcare providers.
Recent Resource Articles
Teaching Children about Personal Space
It’s wonderful to see children who are comfortable with everyone and want
Incorporating Academics into a Daily Schedule
Sometimes children are home for the week and have schoolwork that must
Help! Common Core Math Homework
For those who were taught traditional math, helping children with common core
What Do Children Learn in Preschool?
When children turn four years old, some states will have pre-kindergarten or