6 Popular Preschools: Which Is Best for Your Kid?

Pick an early education program that's tailored to your child's needs.

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Get Your Child On the Path to a Bright Future

Many wonderful educational opportunities are available for preschool children. Read about 6 kinds of preschools to help decide which program is best for your child.

1. Have an Active Social Butterfly? Consider Developmental Preschools

Proponents of developmental preschools believe that young children learn best when they are given the freedom to play. Unlike academic preschools where teachers directly teach content, kids at developmental preschools learn from playing pretend and choosing their own activities. Developmental preschools are good for children who enjoy play-based preschools: Enjoy group play. Prefer a flexible day. Do not need to sit still for long amounts of time.

2. Learn Through All Five Senses At Montessori Preschools

Montessori schools balance freedom and discipline by encouraging active learning and appreciation for order and simplicity. At each developmental stage children are instructed with a specific curriculum. Children who do best in Montessori schools: Concentrate for long periods of time. Are self-directed. Can be comfortable with less structure.

3. Is Your Child a Sensitive Soul? Think About Waldorf Preschools

A program offered preschool through high school, Waldorf Schools strive to foster an enthusiasm for learning, motivation, social sensitivity, and appreciation for beauty. These qualities are nurtured by limiting electronic and media devices from the home and school. Waldorf preschools are good for children who: Love artistic crafts. Are active and emotionally sensitive.

4. Consider Reggio Emilia Preschools if Your Child's a Curious Explorer

Grounded in the philosophy of educational theorists, the Reggio Emilia approach engages preschoolers with projects and the arts. Teachers encourage children to make their own learning choices and explore their interests. Reggio Emilia preschools are comfortable for children who: Like some structure. Enjoy collaborating and cooperating with others. Are curious. Like to direct their own learning.

5. Get Your Child Started On the Right Foot with Head Start Preschools

A government funded program, Head Start preschool educates children who otherwise could not afford preschool. Head Start provides free medical care, nutritious snacks and meals, and a nurturing environment for indoor and outdoor play. Families eligible for this terrific opportunity: Are at or below the poverty level. Have foster children. Are homeless.

6. Think About HighScope Preschools if Your Child Thrives on Routine

The High/Scope preschool philosophy actively teaches children how to plan and reflect. Teachers assist students plan their free-choice activity and then review what they learned afterward. High/Scope preschools are best for children who: Enjoy routine. Need opportunities to process experiences. Have difficulty with transitions. Can benefit from a program that prepares for elementary school.

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