The Importance of Socialization for Preschoolers

After the rise of Covid, socialization largely fell by the wayside for many young children. Daycare centers closed, families seldom saw each other, and many parents worked from home to avoid putting their kids at risk.

While isolating during a pandemic is designed to help reduce the spread, it comes at a cost. Many young children have grown up without other young friends to help them socialize.

Why Socialization is Important
When young children are with others their age, they learn many valuable lessons they will carry with them throughout their entire lives. This includes things like taking turns, reading and understanding others’ emotions, and a development of their sense of self.
Although they may be able to learn these things later, it can be a shock to go to school and suddenly have to wait in line or not be first for everything.
Daycare provides the opportunity to understand other people and respond to their needs and wants.

Chatting It Up
Another benefit of being surrounded by other children is the immersion in language it provides. Kids love to talk. They talk a lot more than most adults care to listen to let alone responding in kind. When children are allowed to chat with each other, the number of words they hear in a day go up significantly.
Language immersion is an important part of language development. The more they hear, the more new words they experience. This can help them not only with vocabulary, but the elements of grammar as well.

Bonding with Others
The closest bonds most kids have are with family. While this will likely be the strongest bond they’ll ever have, becoming too dependent on family for connection can be a problem. Without other bonds, they may struggle when left without their family for school.

Preschool is a wonderful opportunity for young children to learn about friendship. They can become friends with other children their age, and also form bonds with teachers and other caretakers.

When they know there are other people outside their family they can depend on, it will help them become more confident when they finally leave for school.
Learning to work as a team

Play is the ‘work’ of childhood. While it’s possible to imagine whole worlds as a child, when two or more get together, that world can change with the imagination of other kids. Playing with others helps children understand to work as a team.

Whether that is deciding what happens to the dragon and the princess or building the world’s largest block tower, learning to work as a team is a useful skill. Children quickly learn that they can do bigger and better things when they work together.

Even if you work from home, sending your preschooler to a child care center, daycare, or preschool can help them develop valuable social skills that will benefit them their entire lives. Social skills are a critical part of how we live our lives, and are a necessary part of every age.

Early Childhood Education in Nevada

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, Nevada is falling behind in its targets for Early Childhood Education. In the 2018-2019 school year, 3,070 children were enrolled in preschool education—a modest increase over the year before.
Unfortunately, in the 2020-2021 school year there was 30% or greater decrease. This is likely in part due to Covid-19 and other related issues, but it is no less a serious problem. Other states, such as Washington and North Dakota, at the same time have managed to level off or even show a modest increase in rates of preschool enrollment.

Nevada also missed 3 out of a total of 10 checkpoints available in the report for quality. This makes them fall towards the middle of the states in terms of the quality of the average preschool. It’s important to remember that preschools vary in quality. It’s best to visit a preschool yourself to see that they are well staffed, have educated personnel, and run a warm and welcoming environment.

Why Early Childhood Education is important
Nevada currently has an initiative aimed at improving the education of 3–4-year-olds, as well as kids already in formal education. They also took steps to try and solve the lack of quality preschool education with a $50 million dollar investment into daycares and preschools.

This is because an investment into childhood education is an investment in the future of the state. At risk children who attend preschool are more likely to get the high school diploma than those who don’t.

It also helps give back to the community. $1 invested into early education can yield as much as $17 an hour more in the child’s adult earning life. The more children that enroll in education, the better their lives will be, and the more the community they live in will benefit as well.

Early childhood education benefits parents as well
Statistics show that children are not the only people in a family who benefit from preschool. Preschool also allows parents back into a work setting. Many parents are forced to put their careers on hold after having children, and preschool can help change that.
When both parents can work, it may also improve the child’s life indirectly, through more stable income. The added financial boost from two parents working can help add to food security, among other benefits.

How to find a great preschool
Nevada has many areas that are childcare deserts. It can be difficult to find a quality preschool that cares about the children and has childcare workers who have the credentials to help children grow. Great preschools will have a whole child approach to learning, and keep things play based as much as possible.

If you’re hoping to give your children the best opportunity possible for their future, preschool is the way to go. Ask for a tour of your local preschool and ask them what they do to help educate children. A high-quality preschool can make all the difference in their life—and yours too.

References:
https://nieer.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/YB2021_Full_Report.pdf

The Benefits of a Strong Start in Early Childhood

The first five years of a child’s life can make a difference on how well they do for the rest of their lives. It is a time of rapid brain development for children, and part of a huge jump in learning ability. Study after study has shown that children who take advantage of this time for learning, such as those enrolled in an early learning program, do better than those that don’t.

Children who have enrolled in early learning do better in high school and are more likely to earn a college degree. Early learning can also help them improve their math skills, socialize better, and become a more competent adult.

The benefits of early learning for children are enormous. Children who get a strong start in early childhood also:

• Score higher on intelligence tests
• Less likely to skip school
• Less likely to repeat grades
• More likely to attend higher education
• May earn more as an adult

Why early learning helps
Most of the educational benefits of early learning tend to fade out as your child grows older. Even if your child goes into kindergarten knowing their ABC’s before their peers do, that advantage is over by the time they reach first grade. With such a short term boost to learning, why do children tend to do so well throughout the rest of their lives?
The answer is that children learn so much besides academics in early learning. They learn how to socialize with other peers in an appropriate manner, how to access help from teachers, and that learning can be fun.

Working with others, getting the help you need, and recognizing that you need help at all are core benefits that will last a lifetime.
Getting a temporary boost in academics can also help by making the transition to grade school less stressful. When children already know what to expect and a little about the work, they can transition into school life a little better.

Benefiting the community
Early learning benefits children in nearly every aspect of their life but they’re not the only ones who benefit. The community these children grow up in also benefit from that child’s early learning too.

Children who attend early learning tend to be healthier than those that don’t, which can lead to less strain on the medical system. They also tend to reach higher education, which means more taxes going back into the community, and a better financial situation for that family.
In some cases, preschool can immediately help that child’s financial situation, by allowing a parent who was previously a caretaker to get a job during the hours the child is in school.

With so many benefits, there’s no reason your child shouldn’t attend a preschool. Early learning allows your child to expand their world and help them satisfy their growing brains and thirst for knowledge. A great early learning program can help provide your child with a great future, and benefit them for decades to come.

Whole Child Philosophy

Academic success is one of the biggest milestones parents have for their children. This is very understandable because doing well in school can help children grow into successful adults. This focus on schoolwork can start as early as preschool—long before kids first set foot in a classroom.

While learning numbers, letters and colors are important and valuable, becoming a good student is so much more than memorizing facts.

In order to be successful in school, children need to learn many other vital skills. These include:
• Social-Emotional Skills
These skills help your child learn how to interact with teachers and other students appropriately. With good social-emotional skills they can ask for the help they need, establish healthy relationships with friends, and deal with stress better.

This is a life skill they will take with them through their whole lives, and will help make them a successful student as well as a working adult.
• Healthy body, healthy mind
Learning how to eat healthy and take care of your body is just as vital as taking care of your mind. Learning what makes your body healthy and how to take care of it is a vital part of your child and will help them grow into a healthy adult.

Children who know how to take care of their bodies often benefit beyond general health. When they know they are doing their best, they may find their ability to love flaws in their body and to accept who they are a little easier.
• Exploring interests
Every child is different. One kid may love smashing a block tower, another takes great joy in building it. What part of the world interests you is an important aspect of your identity. A child that explores their interests is more likely to have a passion for those things, and to learn more about them.

The freedom to explore helps keep kids engaged and interested in the learning process, another vital skill.
• Critical thinking skills
Success in math and reading isn’t always about memorizing formulas. Solving a new problem needs a certain amount of logic and reasoning, to help you figure out what the solution might be.

Critical thinking skills start out in the playroom, figuring out why a bridge isn’t holding any weight or what happened to your paint when colors got mixed together. By figuring out problems and resolving them, you’re on your way to being able to think through a problem big or small.
Academics are important, but they are one link in a chain of other skills. If just this one aspect of the child is focused on at the expense of all the others, the result is an unbalanced child. A whole child philosophy aims at looking at the child as a whole and strengthening every link in the chain.
The more skills your child has to fall back on, the more likely they will be able to succeed. Supporting every aspect of a child’s health can make them into better, stronger children and successful adults.

Benefits of Early Childhood Education; Why Children Who Attend Preschool Have a Leg Up

Enrolling your child in preschool can be a little scary. It may be the first time you’ve ever left your child on their own, or the first time they’ve done formal learning. Many parents wonder if preschool is just a glorified daycare, or if there are real benefits to signing their children up for classes.

The good news is, there is a lot of research on preschool children and how they perform in grade school compared to children who did not attend. The research overwhelmingly favors preschool children in terms of grades, as well as other life skills.

Encourages Curiosity
There’s a whole world out there for children to explore. Preschool can be an entry into that world. Whether your child is playing with blocks or learning about alligators, their world is expanding. A good preschool set up to share the world with their students can help develop a life long passion for learning.
Play based learning can take your child farther than strict learning or drilling on numbers because it makes them want to learn instead of dreading it.

Helps Build Trust in Adults
Preschool children learn early that other people besides their parents can be trusted. They learn to listen to other adults, and to trust them with their needs and problems. That ability to communicate well with other adults can make a big difference in their ability to get the most out of their education later in life.

Better lifetime benefits
Most of what your child learns in preschool will no longer give them an edge after second grade. Yet studies show the lifetime benefits of attending preschool are huge. Children who attend preschool are less likely to be arrested, more likely to attend and complete college, and often live healthier lives as well.

Preschool sets the stage for how children learn and gives them a solid foundation to build the rest of their lives on.

More exposure to reading
Reading is a powerful tool for your child, and being read to is the first step to learning. Children who are read to frequently do better in school than children who don’t. Children who are read to every night have heard up to a million more words than children who don’t regularly have reading time. This is a huge difference.

Other indirect benefits
Many parents also benefit from preschool too. In lower income homes, preschool can provide stability for the children. It can also provide adults the chance to attend college, take a full time job, or better their lives in other ways.

When adults have a chance to better their situation knowing their child is safe, it can change a child’s living situation for the better.

If you’ve been wondering about whether your child should attend preschool or not, the evidence is clear. Decades of research have shown that children from every background benefit from preschool. Those who attend preschool can generally expect better results not only in their grades, but through the rest of their adult life as well.

Interesting research:
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/duke_prekstudy_final_4-4-17_hires.pdf
https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/03/524907739/pre-k-decades-worth-of-studies-one-strong-message