Pre-kindergarten (also called Pre-K or PK) refers to the first formal academic classroom-based learning environment that a child customarily attends in the United States. It begins around the age of four or five in order to prepare for the more didactic and academically intensive kindergarten, the traditional "first" class that school children participate in. Pre-Kindergarten is not required. On the other hand, it acts as a way to prepare children (especially those of a disadvantaged population) to better succeed in a kindergarten (often compulsory in many U.S. states).


The term "Pre-kindergarten" is often used interchangeably with the concepts of "day care", and "child care"; however, these other early childhood settings focus their goal on subsitutionary care for children while their legal parents/guardians are absent as opposed to pre-K's focus on skill building. They could involve academic training, or they could involve solely socializing activities.

Pre-kindergartens, though, differentiate themselves by "equally" focusing on harvesting a child's (1) social development, (2) physical development, (3) emotional development, and (4) cognitive development. They commonly follow a set of organization-created teaching standards in shaping curriculum and instructional activities/goals. The term "preschool" more accurately approximates the name "pre-kindergarten", for both focus on harvesting the same four child development areas in subject directed fashion. The term "preschool" often refers to such schools that are owned and operated as private or parochial schools. Pre-kindergartens refer to such school classrooms that function within a public school under the supervision of a public school administrator and funded completely by state or federally allocated funds, and private donations.


"K-4" is often (and controversially) used interchangeably with "pre-kindergarten". Although early childhood education experts criticize the use of the term as a way to rationalize utilizing a kindergarten model and teaching kindergarten skills in pre-kindergarten classes, public school districts continue to incorporate the term as a way to integrate pre-kindergarten into the stable of accountability under the No Child Left Behind Act.

ee also

*Pre-school playgroup - a related type of establishment found in the United Kingdom.
*Wood kindergarten

External links

* []
* [ Child Care & Early Education Research Connections]

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