It is easy to understand why some people believe we are trying to make our children grow up too quickly, rushing them into a toddler center school even before they reach kindergarten age. However, research has shown huge benefits to the child to be gained from preschool education, and with few parents having the necessary time to devote to their child’s development at this stage, the toddler center school provides a great alternative to children sitting at home watching television with a babysitter.
Socially, the toddler center school encourages early development of interpersonal skills. The child learns, not only to live in a classroom environment, ensuring a smooth start to kindergarten, but also to interact with other children and adults that are not relatives. The toddler center school enables the development of self-confidence and teaches the child how to adapt to unfamiliar or changing situations.
A child’s brain is in a period of rapid development at the age of three to four years, and this is an ideal time to acquire basic learning skills. In California, studies have shown that children that had a high quality pre-school education were more likely to do well in school and to graduate from high school and go on to college. They were less likely to require economic assistance from the state later in life and were less likely to be arrested or sent to prison. A thirty year initiative in Pittsburgh showed a well structured toddler center school education could balance out socio-economic differences between individuals. It showed children from poor economic backgrounds having the same possibilities in adult life as those from affluent families, once they had been through the preschool program.
It is clear that, although some parents may feel they are letting their children grow up too fast, a quality preschool education can give them the best possible start in life both socially and economically. Without this early development children may be at a disadvantage compared with their peers when they do start kindergarten.