PRESCHOOL

In the pre-Kindergarten years, many parents want to give their children a taste of school. Some people make considerable sacrifices to put their four, three or even two – year – olds in the best preschool programmes, perhaps only a few hours a day. Preschools for barely toilet-trained young people were relatively rare a generation ago. They are sprouting all over today. An optional universe has emerged. They have different names: preschool, school, nursery, pre-kindergarten programme, Head Start (government-sponsored preschool programme), early childhood development center, etc. Churches, synagogues or community organizations like the YMCA can manage them. Some are supplied by employers. Some are run by the local public school system, which is attached to a private school and even run by a college. Others are business enterprises. The line between daycare and preschool is often blurred in large centers for child care. To further confuse the picture, you will hear all kinds of terms used to describe the various types of education philosophy or teaching methods used in these places: Montessori, progressive, traditional, whole child, total child, child-centered and structured, to name a few. Most of these terms can not be defined precisely because what they actually mean in...

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