Young children learn at their own pace. Just as some learn to walk early and others late, some learn to read or count later than others. But all students will learn faster, and be better prepared for kindergarten and grade school, if they attend preschool.
Students who attend a high-quality preschool or child-care program are more likely to graduate from high school and college. They typically earn more as working adults than students who don’t go to preschool, and they are less likely to become involved in crime.
There are many different kinds of early childhood education programs. Most cost money, although government and scholarship programs can help make them affordable, or even free.
There is no one type of preschool that is best. But there are important differences in quality. To be sure your child is well prepared for kindergarten, find a preschool or child-care program that focuses on early-stage learning skills, especially preparing children to learn to read.
GreatPhillySchools is currently developing a tool to help you find a great preschool. Until that tool is ready, we recommend the United Way’s extensive “Resources for Parents” pages to help you begin your search.