The Key to Choosing a Great Preschool Program

keystoneIt can be bittersweet to send a youngster to school for the first time. While it’s exciting to see your son or daughter form new friendships and learn new skills, it’s often difficult to place your child in someone else’s care. As a parent, you want to know that the school you choose offers a nurturing environment and is staffed by dedicated, highly skilled educators. How can you be sure of the quality of the pre-K program you’re considering?

The Importance of Early Childhood Education

The toddler and preschool years are a time of tremendous learning and growth for children. In addition to developing skills that are foundational to later work in academic subjects, preschoolers also master many practical and social-emotional capabilities such as collaborating with peers, solving problems, taking initiatives to meet their own needs, and regulating their emotions. There is a growing awareness of the critical impact a quality pre-K experience can have on students’ later successes in school.

Removing the Guesswork

Knowing the importance of early childhood education, Pennsylvania developed the Keystone STARS rating system to help parents assess preschools where they might send their children. This system provides you with an objective, consistent, research-based set of standards you can use to compare the merits of various preschools in Langhorne, PA and its surrounding area. This rubric rates programs using specific criteria that address the qualifications and skills of staff members, the environment the school provides, and the daily operations of the facility.

What is a STARS Facility?

All programs rated by the Keystone STARS guidelines meet a baseline standard that allows you to be assured that your child is in a safe, supportive environment. These facilities adhere to the following criteria:

  • Certified by the Department of Human Services or registered as a Family Day Care Home
  • Language skill and literacy development
  • Ongoing teacher training/professional learning
  • Early academic activities
  • Family involvement and communication with staff
  • Social emotional learning and self-esteem development

Pre-K programs in Bucks County are awarded more stars as they provide more rigorous standards and offerings within these categories. For example, a STARS level 4 facility has received a high score on a nationally recognized rating scale, and at least two-thirds of its staff have, or are in the process of completing, credentials or degrees.

Quality Counts

Sending your child off to school for the first time is one of the biggest steps you’ll take as a parent. You want your son or daughter to have the strongest educational beginnings you can provide. With the Keystone STARS system in place, you can be assured of the quality of a preschools near me that you are evaluating for your child. Not all pre K programs in Levittown should be considered equal.

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