Pre-schools are the first formal learning environment for children. They offer a combination of child-focused teaching, skill-based learning and exploration activities. It is a fun way for children to gain confidence and learn social skills while developing their imagination and creativity. It also develops their critical thinking, communication and problem-solving abilities. This curriculum provides a balance between structure and flexibility, giving teachers the freedom to create their own lessons. It is developed with a child expert to ensure it meets the needs of all children.

Preschools provide care and education for children up to the age of five, under the ECCE scheme (Early Childhood Care and Education). The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth website has more information on the scheme. Childcare services taking part in the scheme must provide an educational programme which adheres to Siolta and are supported by local city/county childcare committees with assistive visits and advice. Pre-schools can apply, in partnership with a parent, for additional targeted supports under levels 4-7 of the Access and Inclusion Model.

Unlike daycare, which is often seen as childcare with minimal emphasis on learning, preschools are designed to prepare children for kindergarten and later life. Research shows that high-quality preschool education improves later academic performance and job outcomes, and increases family incomes. In addition to providing early education, these programs can also help working parents manage the responsibilities of work and childcare. These programs are often based in district schools, private schools or community-based organizations. In recent years, more states have instituted preschool programs. These are aimed at poor families and may be free or subsidized. In many cases, these programs are delivered by community-based organizations that contract with the state to operate them.


When children get to the pre-k stage, they begin building skills that will help them become independent learners. They learn to interact with other children and start developing social-emotional skills, such as learning to share, take turns, show empathy and respect others.

Pre-k programs focus on providing rich, play-based experiences with a strong emphasis on school readiness. They also introduce more structured activities, like pre-reading and writing. They typically take field trips and work on projects. In one example, students at a pre-k program became interested in agriculture after visiting a farm. Their teacher helped them collaborate to create a classroom farm stand, and they used pine cones and rocks to represent the different fruits and vegetables.

These programs are usually public or private, and they are regulated at the state level. They have to meet certain requirements, including quality ratings and governance structures. In addition, they are typically staffed with teachers who are trained in early childhood education.

Most states have some form of universal preschool, which provides every eligible child with access to high-quality pre-k. Some of these programs are operated by the local schools and others are run by the department of education. They are usually free for families with household incomes below a specific amount, or they may be available through vouchers.

Despite the popularity of these programs, there is debate over whether they should be expanded and what kind of curriculum they should offer. Moreover, there is a debate about how these programs should be governed and which level of government should set the standards for them. For example, some argue that the federal government should establish a consistent national standard for all children from birth to age three and that this should include all types of educational settings.

After School Care

The function of after school care is to provide children with a safe and supportive environment that encourages them to learn. These programs typically offer a variety of fun, engaging activities and experiences, based on the interests and needs of each child. After school care is a great option for working parents, as they allow children to participate in activities that will help them to succeed in their studies and socially develop.

PEI has a number of family home centres that provide a high quality child care experience for Island families. These programs are licensed and regulated, providing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating learning environment. These centers also offer a unique opportunity for children to spend multiple years with the same teacher, enabling them to build strong relationships and develop their own identity.

Holiday Programs

In almost every culture, families honor beliefs, history, and people through holiday celebrations. Holidays function in early childhood programs in different ways, providing opportunities for staff and children to celebrate, learn, and grow together. Acknowledging holidays in a program requires thoughtful decision making and can lead to wonderful outcomes for children, families, and staff. These include learning about the purposes and worldview underlying a holiday; broadening children’s definition of what a holiday is; fostering accurate, respectful vocabulary; and teaching that family members can enjoy learning about a holiday in ways that respect each other’s beliefs. This is a challenge for most programs. Cache level 3 and Early learning centres