Summer is the season of family road trips and dancing through sprinklers, but as a working mother, it’s also the time when I started worrying about where my young children should be in school come fall. After I had my first child, I looked everywhere for a place where my children could grow and learn in a safe, engaging environment, but I felt that every option I tried was only the best of the worst.
At that time, the term “early childhood education” did not exist in the popular lexicon. Preschool did not look like school at all, and was often no different from daycare. It was not until after my children had grown up that I had the opportunity to visit a Primrose school. The minute I walked through the door, I could feel the difference. I remember visiting a classroom and it was exploding with laughter and learning. I knew then that that was the place I had wanted my children to be when they were young.
We are fortunate today that there is a greater emphasis on quality early childhood education, as more and more parents become aware of the importance of the early years on a child’s learning and development. However, we are also beginning to see undue academic pressure on young children, with parents worrying about their children’s math and reading skills, and how “ready” they will be for elementary school.
Readiness, however, is not defined by academics alone. Quality early childhood education takes a balanced approach to preparing children for the future. It should support physical, social-emotional, creative and academic development so children can acquire not only math and reading skills, but compassion, strength, independence, resilience and a love of learning – qualities that are easy to take for granted but that need to be nurtured for success beyond preschool.
If you visit Primrose, I am confident that you will find what I found years ago and still find today – a school filled with laughter and learning, where children are growing into happy, confident, well-rounded individuals ready to take on the world.
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