According to various research findings, the long term benefits of preschool cover both social and cognitive development. The first five years of a child’s life is characterized by rapid brain and behavioral development; investing in quality preschool or early learning programs can have significant benefits to a child’s later development.
Long Term Benefits of Preschool
This has been a subject of great debate, especially among scholars and researchers in this field. While there are arguments for both sides, evidence continues to show that there are numerous benefits of preschool education.
Determining the long term benefits of preschool can be rather complicated but an increasing body of evidence has shown that these programs help to reduce achievement gaps by improving school readiness.
Pre-school years are a critical period when a child develops foundations for thinking, emotional well-being and behaving. Preschool, where the child learns primarily by playing, encourages language and pre-literacy skills, fosters creativity and imagination and develops their social and emotional skills.
Impact on socialization
According to a recent study, children who received a quality early education were found to have better long term social interaction skills, emotional maturity and appropriate behavior. The early introduction gives them an opportunity to interact with their cohorts from diverse backgrounds and form positive relationships with their educators.
Additional research suggests that quality preschool programs boost cognitive development and that children who attend these programs for three or more years perform better in Year 4 reading, mathematics and science. The evidence also reports higher literacy levels and numeracy understanding in children aged between 11 and 16.
Lower risk of developing learning difficulties
Research results also indicate that children who have access to quality preschool education have a reduced need to access special education in their later years.
Another research study shows the link between the benefits of boosting academic performance through the early years and the ability to retain grades in later school years. This study examined the long term effect of a particular preschool program on the performance and grade retention of its former students in their middle school years. Those who were held back a year before joining pre-school were less likely to perform well academically.
Attendance and completion rates
Evidence also suggests that children who have access to quality preschool programs are less likely to have class attendance issues and more likely to complete school.
Based on the research findings, there are several long term benefits of preschool. The quality, as well as the amount of early learning that a child participates in, can have a significant impact on the child’s long term social and cognitive outcomes. These structured programs, led by top educators in play-based learning environments go a long way in laying the critical foundation for how a child thinks, behaves and how healthy they are emotionally.