Preschool is often thought about as the gateway to education. Kindergarten is usually considered that first “big year,” the one where your babies are actually no longer your babies. They’re with the big kids now, and it seems like there’s a lot of preparation that needs to take place for your child to be ready.

While that’s all true, preschool is usually overlooked in the process. Preschool is not the aforementioned gate to education — it’s the foundation. Many researchers and organizations, such as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), consider preschool to be the most important grade in a child’s life. In fact, studies show that preschool can even serve as an indicator for a student’s academic success and beyond.

With that in mind, it’s time we talk a little bit more about how to prepare a child for preschool. See some of the ways you can best help your child be preschool-ready, and enroll in preschool at Leap 2 Learn Educational Childcare today!

Enroll your child in daycare (or create similar opportunities).

To start, let us just say that we would love to have your child enrolled in one of our many daycare programs. From our tadpoles to our leapsters programs, we have so many incredible educational childcare options for your family. However, we recognize that daycare isn’t always a necessity.

Maybe Grandpa can watch the kids full-time, or you’re on a flexible schedule where you only need to go into the office a few days a week and can get coverage for childcare on those days. We get it if your child doesn’t need to go somewhere separate for daycare; however, there are some advantages to being in a daycare setting.

At a daycare, your child will have guided practice in socializing and interacting with their peers — an instrumental skill to have for preschool, and one that will continue to be worked on. Additionally, your child will continue to grow and thrive in a structured environment. Practicing these routines now can make it easier to transition into preschool later.

If enrolling your young one in daycare just isn’t in the cards or in the plan, that’s fine too! From summer camp activities for toddlers to play groups at the park, making sure your child gets a chance to practice some of these necessary skills will also help ease their transition into preschool.

Engage your child in pretend play.

Preschool can be challenging for your child to begin, especially if they are not used to this type of environment. Granted, some kids make it seem like it’s no big deal, and fit right into the flow of preschool from the get-go. For others, they need more modeling and foreshadowing to make starting preschool less of a scary and enormous change.

Start “working” with your child on what preschool might be like — and by that, we mean pretend play what preschool is going to be like! Practice lining up, having recess time, storytime, and maybe even print out some preschool-friendly worksheets for them to try. This is a great opportunity to discuss some of what might be expected when they get to preschool, and it’s fun, too!

In our next blog, we’ll cover a few more ways in which you can prepare your child for preschool. Until then, know that Leap 2 Learn Educational Childcare has the preschool and early childhood educational programs that can make all the difference in your little one’s development. If you’re curious to learn more about what we offer, feel free to contact our daycare center — and come visit our school while you’re at it! We hope to see you there.