Preschool and kindergarten assure the early childhood education of young children. The purpose of both is to provide a well-rounded curriculum. Before entering into formal education, a child needs nurturing. Communication, cooperation, creativity are the skills that a child needs to develop over time. Preschool and kindergarten set the base for these skills and give the children an early introduction to formal education.
Parents often find it confusing to differentiate between preschool and kindergarten. Though both of them benefit children, are they the same? Is there any major difference between these two educational institutions? Let us find the answers through this article.
What is Preschool
A preschool is not actually a school. Rather, it is a kind of educational institution that prepares children for primary education. It is designed for children between the ages of two to four. A preschool basically introduces children to learning through playful manners.
Preschool involves children in different types of games that allow them to communicate, teamwork, and creativity. It is almost like an extension of daycare. It does not expose children directly to formal education but develops language and vocabulary. It nourishes a child’s imagination and creativity. A preschool helps children to evolve their literacy skills and expand their knowledge.
What is kindergarten
Kindergarten is a German word. “Kinder” means children, and “garten” means garden. The term was introduced by Friedrich Froebel in 1837. He emphasized that learning through games is a very effective way in early childhood education. He believed in hands-on learning for children.
Kindergarten is a program for children five years old but sometimes includes four to six years old. The teaching techniques are largely based on games. Children are influenced to participate without any restriction. It prepares children for primary school. Children develop their social skills. Raising a child’s self-esteem and confidence are focused on, which will give them an advantage in their formal study. After kindergarten, a child starts his first year of primary school.
Similarities between preschool and kindergarten in the USA
Both preschool and kindergarten serve one purpose mainly: to have an enjoyable learning environment for children. The children explore and learn by having hands-on experience. Preschool and kindergarten focuses on the growth of a child’s social and emotional state. Both of them help in expanding a child’s imagination and creativity.
Play technique is used in both of the programs. Children learn through playing games. Music, colorful pictures, rhymes, etc., are used to build up a child’s interest in learning. Both programs allow a child to willingly participate in different kinds of activities involving teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
Difference between preschool and kindergarten in the USA
It has beenclarified that there are some major similarities between preschool and kindergarten. Apart from these similarities, there are some differences as well. Preschool is for kids who are two to four years old, while a child in kindergarten can be three to five years old.
Preschool functions more like a childcare facility than an educational institution. Different preschools have different kinds of curricula. On the other hand, kindergarten must follow some state educational quality standards.
Preschool is all about play. Kids have more playtime than learning. Therefore, there is no particular curriculum to follow. In the case of kindergarten, there is playtime but along with some specific lessons. In kindergarten, children are motivated more by study than by games.
Introducing a child with the alphabet, numbers, and different vocabularies is a preschool function. Children get their base built from a preschool. Kindergarten pays attention to math, science, and other critical areas. It basically prepares a child for formal studies.
A preschool is located mostly isolated, while a kindergarten can be connected to a school environment. In order to get into a kindergarten, there might be some readiness standard to meet, but for a preschool, there is no particular quality to achieve.
Importance of Preschool Education
As it has been mentioned earlier, preschool sets the base structure of a child. Even though there is less education involved, a child’s social skill is nurtured through fun and enjoyment. Children expand their vocabulary. They get the chance to meet other kids and collaborate on different kinds of games. These games help them to grow their ability to teamwork.
A preschool unlocks a child’s curiosity and creativity. Children enhance their ability to communicate. Children experience the joy of learning. They discover a variety of new things every day. The personality of a child magnifies.
Along with mental growth, a child’s physical ability improves as well. It is found that children who attend preschool have better motor skills. Preschool plays a vital role in early childhood education.
Which comes first, preschool or kindergarten?
It might get confusing whether preschool comes first or kindergarten. It is actually preschool that comes first. Children who have the ability to talk get to go to preschool, while kindergarten requires kids the age of at least three. After preschool, a child can attend kindergarten.
What is the appropriate age for preschool?
It is said that a child who is potty trained is able to go to preschool. Children who are at least two years old are eligible for preschool.