Types of Preschool: Know Your Options

Did you know that 61 percent of in preschool?

With so many children in programs that have the potential to impact their lives in a huge way, it’s important to make sure parents have made the right decision when it comes to the types of preschool options they have.

This research is likely to start before you enroll your child in preschool, especially if they’re nearing three and four years old. Read on to learn about five preschool types.

1. Waldorf

The Waldorf method is a self-driven one. It encourages artistic activities in every school subject, and they push a student’s independence to encourage deeper understanding.

Instead of focusing on certain aspects that a student is good at, it highlights their capabilities as a whole. Each lesson is taught until it’s understood deeply rather than just skipping over the difficult assignments.

It places a large focus on building trust for a child’s educator and self-confidence for themselves.

2. Montessori

Among different types of early childhood education, the Montessori Method has the potential to be hugely liberating for any child. Within the structure, learning is largely student-driven, with guidance from teachers and other group leaders.

Students get to choose the lessons they’re taught, and they move at a pace that fits their independent preferences.

Maria Montessori impact on education also encourages a social one. The method often incorporates social justice and leadership into its methods.

3. Parent Co-Ops

Parent co-ops typically involve a group of parents hiring a teacher that fits their learning style. The parents may rotate between assisting with lesson plans and handling administrative duties throughout the school day, among other things.

This method is best for parents who would like a hand in their child’s early education.

4. Religious

Religious education is a common concept, with “private schools” in almost every area of the U.S.

Religion isn’t the sole focus of the curriculum itself, but it usually plays a role. Many include religion freely in the curriculum, while some don’t push a particular narrative but may incorporate certain values and stories into lesson plans or other activities.

5. Bank Street

This method was developed by Lucy Sprague Mitchell in the early 20th century. It incorporates each child’s development level into every lesson plan. When certain changes occur at a certain age, the child’s education bends to meet them.

There aren’t any age restrictions with this approach, so children of all ages interact with one another daily and are placed in the same classrooms together.

Kids receive one-on-one attention with this method as well.

6. HighScope 

Popular academic-based instruction known as the HighScope curriculum is mostly used in community centers. Children pick up various academic skills here, such as telling the time, counting, and working on other practical tasks. 

A HighScope setting makes use of learning materials to stimulate a child’s curiosity. It provides a thorough learning setting with interactions between students and teachers. To have fun while learning, students place a greater emphasis on play than on formal instruction.

Children are exposed to a setting that encourages the growth of cognitive abilities as well as the formation of social, emotional, and cultural ties. The community forms in the classroom as a result of everyone starting to watch out for one another.

Key developmental indicators are used by HighScope early childhood curriculum programs to guide instructors in selecting projects and activities that are acceptable for students of various ages. Because of this, it is simple for teachers to comprehend and interpret the requirements of their pupils and adapt their instruction to meet these needs specifically.

Play is at the heart of this paradigm. The child will cooperate in a “play, do, review” sequence with a teacher as their partner.  Students can choose a project, make a strategy for achieving their objectives, and collaborate with the teacher to evaluate the results.

7. Ascend 

Through a skill- and play-based curriculum, the Ascend program develops the learner’s creative, social-emotional, physical, and cognitive abilities. Children take part in activities led by teachers that foster one-on-one interactions. 

Children can interact with others while having fun and developing a passion for learning via personalization. They are pushed to employ critical thinking to address difficult problems. This approach to the preschool curriculum offers a nice balance of rigor and suppleness. To enable tailored encounters that foster confidence, teachers offer individualized learning. 

As they design their projects, children are in charge of their learning. As students acquire important skills via creativity, the objective is to assist children in creating a solid foundation for themselves.

8. Emergent

Programs for emerging preschoolers differ based on the kids and teachers. It is because teachers design activities based on the abilities, requirements, and interests of their present pupils. No two classes will be the same in appearance. This strategy combines project-based learning with play-based learning.

You, as a parent, are aware of your child’s requirements. Decide which preschool will best support your child’s learning preferences and your family’s guiding principles.

9. Traditional Preschools

If preparing your kid for a typical K–12 public school environment is your top priority, you might choose to research traditional preschool programs. Both publicly accessible pre-K programs provided by nearby elementary schools and privately managed preschools might fall under this category. In a typical preschool, children learn ideas and skills that will help them in kindergarten. They are also introduced to the setting of the school.

Traditional preschools often include a teacher-led structure, a predetermined timetable, and a predetermined curriculum. Children will be in a structured setting that is organized according to age and may involve playtime, arts and crafts, circle time, and academics, which frequently includes learning the alphabet, and numbers, expanding vocabulary, and starting to write. Children develop independence and crucial social skills in this educational environment, preparing them for kindergarten.

10. Reggio Emilia

This method is directed by the child’s interests and concentrates on preschool and elementary school. Several open-ended projects and assignments that call for creative thinking and problem-solving are included in the curriculum, which is jointly created by the student and the instructor.

11. Community-based

Depending on the locale, they are typically for kids between the ages of two and five.  Many community activities in the area are cooperatives, therefore parents frequently volunteer as instructors’ assistants. (usually at least once a week). Because of this, these preschools are frequently less expensive than other possibilities. Play-based, intellectual, Montessori, Waldorf, or Reggio Emilia-inspired co-op programs are all possible.

12. Academic

The most organized preschools are academic-based programs, which place a big focus on developing students’ arithmetic and reading preparation. These initiatives are meant to familiarize kids with school life and prepare them for primary school and beyond.

13. Play-based

Preschool programs that emphasize play are founded on the idea that young children learn best through play. Play-based programs, which are primarily unstructured and open-ended, seek to foster social skills and a love of learning.


Your child is still developing in all of these areas: physically, socially, emotionally, linguistically, literately, and in terms of thinking (cognitive) skills. In every one of these areas, teachers help her.

Physical development

It is how your kid uses her arms, legs, fingers, and hands (extensive motor skills) (and small motor skills). Teachers give students a variety of physical activities and resources to help them learn these skills. Kids toss, catch, climb, throw, and run. They experiment with items like paints, playdough, puzzles, sand, and writing implements using their hands. Children develop strong bones and muscles by moving their bodies actively both inside and outside.

Social development

helps your youngster in social interaction. To instill collaboration and respect for others, teachers and students collaborate. Children develop their social skills, linguistic abilities, and self-control through playing and studying together. With the help of their teachers, kids are able to resolve disputes that could come up while playing.

Emotional development

Enables your youngster to comprehend their own and other people’s sentiments. Teachers support their pupils in recognizing and managing their own feelings and behaviors. They also educate kids to care about other people. Teachers encourage students to take risks and stick with difficult tasks to build their confidence.

Language and literacy development

helps with your child’s comprehension and communication through talking, reading, writing, and listening. These abilities are all interrelated. Teachers assist your kid in learning new ideas by utilizing her developing communication abilities.

Thinking, or cognitive, skills develop

as youngsters develop their capacity for complicated thought, decision-making, and problem-solving. Young children’s cognitive abilities develop as they explore, inquire, and create. Your youngster can comprehend the world around him by reflecting on and applying facts. The method that kids approach learning also plays a big role in how they think. For instance, being able to concentrate or tolerate irritation makes it easier for him to study.

Which Types of Preschool Do You Prefer?

When it comes to the different types of preschool, there are many different options out there. Which are you going to choose for your child when the time comes?

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