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Should You Send Your Child to Preschool?

Unlike in the past, the number of dual-income families is rapidly increasing and, in most cases, they don’t have the luxury to stay at home and provide full-time care to their children. They are providing for their child through other means such as sending them to a good school, providing them with the assistance they need with regards to their education, and many more. In Singapore, the majority of parents now send their children to pre-schools and because of that, the number of preschools in Singapore has reached a significant number as well.

If you are a working parent as well, chances are you have considered the idea of sending your child to a preschool. However, like everything else, there are some factors that you have to consider before jumping the boat and enrolling them in one. In this article, we’ll tackle these factors as well as a preschool’s impact on your child in the long run.

Preschool: Is it important?

Parents usually send their children to preschool because they want them to develop emotionally and socially, as well as grow their numerical and literacy skills. The bottom line is that preschool helps with the transition of a student to primary school with less, or ideally without, hitches. Children who have received preschool education have a more positive attitude towards their new environment, which can become even more evident once they enter primary school. Aside from this, they will also be more confident in making friends and being more sociable.

But how do preschools help with easing this transition exactly? The teaching program for preschools is now required to include a “Transition to Primary Schools”, which would simulate a primary school setting as well as other classroom activities. Therefore, students will already get a taste of what primary school will feel like and parents would also know their children are in good hands.

Factors to consider

Like we have mentioned before, there are also many factors you need to consider before sending your child to a preschool. We have listed some of the things you may have to think about.

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1. Your child’s emotional stability

We all know children cry. A lot. Children use crying as a form of expressing their emotions, this is more common when they are feeling negative emotions. And yet, all those tantrums and kicking and screaming they may be prone to doing at home when things don’t go their way? They are also likely to happen on their first day of school. It’s not uncommon to see children crying the moment they step into the school premises and continue to do so for the entirety of their first school month.

Separation anxiety is a real thing and children are more prone to it since they are entering a new environment with new people. However, there are still ways we can help them deal with their emotions. Parents can inform their children verbally that they will be attending school soon. Some parents may think that their children may not understand what they mean but don’t underestimate their level of understanding. Speak to your child as to what to expect in their new school to help them get ready. Better yet, visit the school together before classes even begin. This will help them visualize the new place they will be spending their time in.

You can also act out routines with them such as letting them try on their backpacks, saying bey-byes, singing songs, or reading storybooks. All of these will help your child prepare for what’s coming. Reassure your child that school is going to be fun and they will learn more, and even make new friends. Do keep it low-key, however, as you don’t want them to get overzealous, which can also result in anxiety for them.

2. Preschool’s environment

Of course, you also have to consider the environment of the preschool you are selecting. It’s highly encouraged to visit multiple preschools before selecting one for your child. It would even be better if you visit these preschools with your child and see which ones they are most comfortable in.

This will also be your chance to gauge out your own expectations for the preschool you want your child to attend in. One of the very first things suggested to look out for is the cleanliness of the school and the school’s culture. No one wants their children to be exposed to an unclean school environment. Here are also some questions you can ask yourself when choosing the preschool:

  1. Is there a regular school cleaner and if so, how often do they sanitize the study/play/dining area?
  2. What would be the course of action if a child falls ill during classes?
  3. Are all the teachers patient and well-experienced?
  4. What is the ideal student-to-teacher ratio and what is the actual student-to-teacher ratio?
  5. How will the teacher go about a child refusing to eat or nap?

Those are only some of the questions you can ask. Of course, there are still plenty of other questions to ask. But visiting the actual school will help bring forth those questions you may not even think of. Lastly, trust your instincts and remember that first impressions do matter.

3. Risk of bullying or abuse

Parents will always feel less safe when they allow strangers to take care of their children. This is why parents take the time to interview and get to know the people they let near their children such as babysitters and tutors. This is especially more so with reports of cases of teachers, who were frustrated with students, resorting to physically harming their students and even leading to cases of abuse. It is a parent’s worst nightmare and fears to learn that their children have been enduring abuse of any sort. However, the risk will always be there.

There is also the risk of exposing your child to bullies. Some children can be hurt by other children from their class, either intentionally or not. Fortunately, some schools send out constant updates to parents through the use of messaging apps or some other means. Many schools do this on their own accord so parents are also at ease knowing their children are well taken care of.

4. Finances and budget

In visiting different preschools, you will get firsthand insight into what the school looks like as well as whatever they have to offer. While it can be tempting to enroll your child in an expensive school with state-of-the-art buildings and advanced technologies, and not to mention the very spacey playground, it will always be a good idea to set a budget realistically.

These are but the first few in the many years your child will spend in the education system. Many parents opt for a more affordable choice for the preschool they will be sending their child for support and enrichment classes. And in Singapore, there are various choices for this. Singapore also provides subsidies for preschool children which allows many families from different statuses to enroll their children in the preschool of their choice. Fees for preschool range from $400 to $2000 per month but that would depend on the parents’ pick of whether they will be enrolling their child in the full-day or half-day programs.

Conclusion

Early childhood education is a vital part of developing children’s social and emotional growth. They may be prone to separation anxiety as they will be experiencing events for the first time and it may be tough to deal with, but many children eventually love and are more excited to go to school. They will learn through time to become more independent and grow with their peers. They will also learn to become more self-reliant, doing tasks like tying their own shoelaces or preparing their own school bags the night before, which can help them as they move on to the next level of their educational journey.

Preschool teachers also provide children with several opportunities to learn a skill and to continue practicing it. This may be different at home, where parents are more susceptible to pick up after their children. In preschool, they are encouraged to learn new things and continue learning and practicing. It will be an interesting sight for parents to see their child grow while attending school.

However, there are still some factors that parents should consider before enrolling their children in a preschool. They need to understand their children’s emotional stability and how well the child can adjust to the new environment. Another thing they should consider would also be the new environment and whether it will be conducive to their child and can assure them there’s less risk of exposing their child to abuse or bullying. And finally, a budget should also come into the picture as these are only the first few years and the child still has a long way to go.

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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