Loving people with the heart of Christ in the heart of Wabash.

Philippians 2:3-5

Why is Preschool Important?

The term “preschool” means, literally, “before school.” Sounds simple enough, but this literal translation isn’t quite right for two reasons. First, preschool isn’t something that occurs before school, it is school. Second, the focus of preschool shouldn’t be on preparing a child to succeed at “real” school later, but instead should concentrate on his/her educational needs right now.

I am using “preschool” to mean the same thing as “nursery school,” the schooling for children around three and four years of age. Professionals sometimes use the term “early childhood education” to mean the same thing.

There is an important distinction, however, between preschool and child care. Child care refers to the day-to-day, routine care of children from birth to three years, and to those parts of an older child’s day in which the primary focus is not on education. Preschool, on the other hand, refers to the portion of the day in which the main goal is developmentally appropriate education. (This isn’t to say that there isn’t some overlap, of course. A lot of what goes on in a preschool classroom involves taking care of a child’s physical and emotional needs, and a lot of what goes on in a good child-care setting is, in fact, educational.)

by Robert Needlman, M.D., F.A.A.P.