Preschool is important because it helps kids become kindergarten ready. When a child attends a regular preschool, they obtain the skills necessary to be successful in kindergarten. Here are a few of those skills:
Listen to stories without interrupting. Granted kids are going to interrupt on occasion, but younger children have shorter attention spans, and usually can’t make it through an average kid’s book. A preschool will help make kids kindergarten ready, so that they can listen to stories without interrupting.
Recognize rhyming sounds. Most kindergarten ready kids not only recognize rhyming sounds, but are excited about rhymes and try to make their own. They will be very rudimentary, but they should at least get that box and fox sound alike. A preschool will help them get excited about rhyming and understand what it means to rhyme.
Preschool is going to help kids get skills like paying attention and listening to a teacher. A child should be able to pay attention for short periods of time. In other words, how long can they last before they are distracted? If you are telling them to do something, how long do they last? Preschool helps lengthen that time.
Preschool gives children hands on learning about cause and effect. Children need to understand actions have both causes and effects. Kindergarten readiness means knowing that certain actions cause certain results. For example, if you go in the sun without sunscreen, you get sunburned.
Preschool helps kids get ready to be on a schedule and have an understanding of general times of day. A kindergarten ready child should know the difference between morning and night. You should be able to ask what time of day it is and get an answer.
In preschool, kids do crafts which help them develop important skills like the ability to cut with scissors. This is a skill that needs to be developed, but that a kindergarten ready child should have. They may not have total accuracy, but they should have the ability and coordination to make cuts. It also helps them learn how to trace basic shapes. This again is a question of coordination and motor skills. If you draw a circle, can they trace it?
Preschool also helps them socially, it helps them learn to begin to share with others. Kids are generally selfish, so they may not be perfect at this, but they should be at least able to understand that they ought to be sharing, even if they chose not to. Preschool helps them develop that skill.
Preschool helps kids to learn to start to follow rules. When you set rules, are they considering them? If you give a toddler a rule and they don’t follow it, that is expected, but a kindergarten ready child should be able to follow rules, as they will have rules in the classroom that must be followed.
Preschool gives kids a chance to practice their potty training. Before kindergarten a kid has to be potty trained. If your child can’t get their pants down, use the toilet, wipe, flush, and get their pants back up without help, they are not kindergarten ready. Being away from you at preschool will help them to develop this ability, as well as other abilities like being able to button shirts, pants, coats, and zip up zippers.
Preschool will also help a child enter kindergarten and not suffer separation anxiety. It is typical for kids around age two to have some separation anxiety when their parents leave them. A kindergartener should be able to be away from their parents without too much stress, and preschool is great practice for this.