What Comes After Pre-K?

If you’re new to the parenting-a-toddler gig, the difference between preschool versus pre-K can be confusing. What happens after pre-K? Do kids need both preschool and pre-K education?

While both preschool and pre-K are types of schooling before kindergarten, they are quite different. They’re defined by the age of the child and when they’re headed off to kindergarten. Here’s an overview of the two systems.

Preschool vs. pre-K

Both preschool and pre-K classes are designed to help kids transition to a classroom environment. Starting kindergarten at age five can be a shock, especially if the children haven’t had a chance to experience a learning environment firsthand. Preschool and pre-K help them socialize and build the skills they need to succeed in their education.

Preschool is for children three to four years of age. It’s often their very first classroom environment. In contrast, pre-K is for children four to five years old. They may or may not have completed preschool, but they’re headed to kindergarten the next year either way.

Typically, a preschool schedule is shorter and more flexible than pre-K. The majority of the day is for playtime, but there is an educational component as well. Kids will learn basic skills like socialization and foundational math, reading and phonics skills. They often learn independence as they spend time away from their parents. Keep in mind that your child needs to be potty trained before they can enter preschool.

Pre-K schedules are more structured and complex than preschool. This helps kids get used to what’s required of them when they transition into kindergarten. It still includes playtime, like preschool, but teachers build upon the foundational skills children learned in preschool. The learning objectives are based on what a child needs to know and do before “graduating” to kindergarten. These are set according to district recommendations and requirements. Pre-K is nearly identical to the kindergarten environment, but there’s less emotional and educational maturity required.

Should I enroll my child in preschool, pre-K or both?

When it comes to early childhood education, the earlier you enroll your child, the more likely they are to thrive in their kindergarten environment. However, keep in mind that every child is different, and may reach developmental and educational milestones at different paces.

Generally, attending preschool and pre-K helps your child develop at a faster rate. Studies in various states have shown that children who attend pre-K, at least, show significant improvement in motor skills, language development, test scores and cognitive function when they enter kindergarten.

Furthermore, they experience emotional development and maturity. Small children can have a difficult time adjusting to being around their peers and away from their parents. Your child will emerge from these early educational opportunities ready to succeed in every way.

When your child is reaching preschool or pre-K age, it’s time to consider enrolling them in a reputable program. Get in touch with Assumption Academy today to learn more about our early childhood education programs. We’d be glad to show you our learning environment and answer your questions!