In the United Kingdom pre-school also known as nursery school is an educational establishment which offers early education to children before they start primary school. Typically, the age range is between 3 and 5 years old however there are no strict rules on this.
This is an important stage in every child's development and a very fun one as well! Children learn how to be away from their parents for the first time, make new friends and learn new life skills through games and exercises!
Although pre-school might only seem like a place where you drop off your child and let them play while you’re at work, it’s actually much more. Even though they spend most of their time playing, it is through play that children actually learn many skills. This is the first place where they will start developing their personal and social skills. They will be put in an environment with other children and they will have to learn how to communicate, cooperate and react accordingly in different situations.
Apart from social skills, kids also work on their physical development. By attending pre-school daily they will develop their fine motor skills by painting, colouring and completing various arts and crafts projects. Furthermore, children will enhance their language development. Although this is entirely personal and some kids are naturally much more talkative from an early age, being in an environment surrounded by peers certainly speeds things up.
As fun as it can be, pre-school can also cause a lot of stress for children especially in the beginning. It’s a completely new environment that separates them from their parents and forces them to be more independent. The most important thing a parent can do is prepare them. Spend time with your child before pre-school starts and explain to them in simple words where and why they’re going. Tell them what they’re going to do and focus on the positive aspects. You can take your child to the pre-school before it starts so they get accustomed to it and meet their teachers.
One of the most important things to remember is to stay calm while you’re explaining everything to your kid. Many parents often feel guilty or nervous and children can quickly pick this up which will only make them more worried. The more confident you are, the easier it will be for your child to understand and embrace this change.
No, in the United Kingdom, pre-school is not mandatory, however it is highly recommended. If your child does not attend, they might be behind when primary school starts. Pre-school not only gives children important communication skills, but it also prepares them mentally for school. They learn how to cooperate with other children, how to spend time away from their parents and most importantly how to be independent.
TutorExtra offers a wide variety of options for parents considering sending their kids to pre-school. Browse through our options and find the one that suits your needs and those of your child the best.