Is It Mandatory to Go to Preschool?
While it is not mandatory to go to preschool in the state of New Jersey, it is strongly recommended because of the importance of early childhood education. Early childhood is a time of tremendous physiological, social, and cognitive growth for children. Preschool offers opportunities for growth and development, and can help lay the foundation for your child’s future success.
Preschool prepares children for the more advanced learning that will take place from kindergarten onwards. In preschool, children do not experience the same types of formal learning activities they will encounter later. However, preschool does offer children the chance to interact with their environments to develop fine motor skills. Preschool also gives young children the unique opportunity to develop social skills in a natural and supportive environment.
Research shows that preschool is important for the child’s early emotional and psychological development. In preschool, children learn how to develop a sense of self-efficacy and independence. The first few days of preschool can be difficult for children with separation anxiety, which is why preschool is especially helpful for children who may need extra motivation to interact with adults other than the parents. Shy children or children who have been exhibiting behavioral or emotional problems can benefit tremendously from the preschool environment.
However, not all preschools are equal. Because there are no universal standards or expectations for preschool education, the quality of preschool in New Jersey varies considerably. At Alpine Montessori, evidence-based methods of early childhood education prevail to ensure that your child receives optimized and individualized attention. Preschool is not mandatory in New Jersey, but it is strongly recommended as a way to help children get used to going to school so that when kindergarten starts, they are ready for the challenges that await, confident in their own abilities and trusting of their teachers and their peers.