Preschool - The Foundation for Educational Success


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    By: ActivityTree

    According to the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation (MELF), 90% of brain development happens before age 6.   In addition, a 2010 review of 123 preschool related studies led by Gregory Camilli of Rutgers University concluded that children who attended preschool programs had significantly improved cognitive skills, social skills and school progress.  To optimize learning and retention, parents are advised to provide their child appropriate learning tools and stimulation prior to entering kindergarten.

    Kids Who Start Ahead, Stay Ahead
     “About half of children going into kindergarten aren’t prepared,” said Duane Benson, Executive Director of MELF.  Early childhood is an opportune stage of a child’s life to set a standard of lifelong learning. This critical time shapes the child’s course as a learner over their entire lifetime.  Early childhood education programs offer your child a great introduction to learning even before preschool.  More formal preschool programs can keep your child heading down the right path.

    Early Childhood Programs Are a Great First Choice
    Most school district across the country offer early childhood education programs.  These programs are often available to parents and children from birth to age 5. Baby, toddler and multi-age classes are offered so the program grows as your child and family grow. Classes meet once or more per week for two hours and provide children with structured age-appropriate learning and also include open playtime. 

    Kids also gain early socialization skills because they’re in a positive environment with their peers. Some early education classes include a time of separation when the adults learn about parenting-related topics while the children continue to learn and play with one another. Not only do these early education programs provide critical early education benefits, they foster independence, confidence, creativity, critical thinking and so much more!

    Traditional Preschool Programs
    Formal preschool programs, typically for children ages 3-5, are another great way to help ensure your child starts down the right path. Traditionally, preschool programs meet for 2-3 days per week for an average of 3 hours, but there are a variety of time and day options, so it’s likely you can find one that fits your schedule. 

    Preschool programs focus on introducing children to basic foundations of learning, colors, numbers, alphabet and phonics.  They also provide a vital opportunity for children to interact with other children and teachers.  Gaining an understanding and comfort level with the structure of school, following instructions and being a good listener are as important to a child’s success in kindergarten as academic skills.  Formal preschool programs offer a wonderful introduction to the school environment, while still offering unstructured play time for preschoolers.

    Quality Programs are Affordable and Financial Assistance is Available
    The reality is that even when parents who understand the importance of early learning, they may believe programs are inaccessible due to financial barriers. However, they should be aware that financial assistance is often available to offset the expense associated with early childhood learning and preschool programs.’s ‘Get Kids Active!’ Scholarships may be used for Pre-K Education programs. Visit our Kids Scholarships page to enter to win one of our scholarships.

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