It can be easy for parents to dismiss the value of academic preschool programs at first. After all, preschool is basically daycare, right? First of all, preschool is far from a daycare experience. Preschools provide a high quality education, just as grade schools do — that is, if you’ve enrolled your child in the right preschool. And finding the right preschool isn’t always easy. But by definition, preschools are groups or classes organized to provide your child with an early academic experience. Some institutions offer preschool along with nursery school for younger children and kindergarten for older ones. From 1990 to 2013, the number of children enrolled in these types of programs jumped from 59% to 65%. Why? Because parents are beginning to realize that the academic preschool curriculum works. It provides children with a great social and academic experience that will increase their grade school readings and make them competitive and well-rounded students. Unfortunately, there’s a perception by many that the academic preschool curriculum is more aimed towards upper middle class children, and can’t benefit children who are living below the poverty line. Not only can preschool benefit these children — they should go to preschool more than anyone else. The academic preschool curriculum is beneficial to “at risk” children in so many ways. Let’s look into it to find out why.
What Is An At Risk Child?
There are many different factors that can define a child as at risk. They don’t all necessarily have to with poverty, contrary to popular belief. A child who is diagnosed with a learning disability could be considered at risk, as academics may be more difficult for them to comprehend. The same goes for children with autism or mental illness. As there are already obstacles in their path, they simply have a higher risk for failing in school or going down the wrong path. Children who are below the poverty line or, for example, have an incarcerated parent are also considered at risk due to the fact that they too are facing disadvantages early on. These obstacles and disadvantages are not always avoidable. But certainly, children can have some of these disadvantages lessened when they are enrolled in an academic preschool. The academic preschool curriculum helps you combat the issues presented to at risk children in a number of ways, and the results are real.
How Can Preschools Help At Risk Children?
The facts are clear: academic preschools help children face life with better social and academic skills. Certainly, they can benefit at risk children in big ways. When children are followed into adulthood, it’s clear that those who didn’t receive a quality preschool education have issues that are not experienced as heavily in those who did. It’s estimated that 25% of at risk children who didn’t have a preschool education went on to drop out of high school. Then, 60% of at risk children who went without a good preschool education didn’t finish college. Finally, a total of 70% of at risk children without a preschool education go on to be arrested for a violent crime later on in life. Essentially, preschool can prevent a child from failing in their studies in the future or falling in with the wrong crowd. It gives them a leg up in life and a feeling of self worth that can otherwise be difficult to come by. But still — is preschool really accessible for low income children?
How Can Low Income Children Get Access To Preschool?
Believe it or not, 45.6 below the federal poverty line are enrolled in preschool. Not all preschools are private, and they therefore don’t come with big bills. In fact, for some families preschool can be subsidized, which takes a lot or even all of the costs associated with preschool out of the question. Even private preschools offer scholarships. The fact is that preschool is something you can take advantage of — and you should.