Early Intervention: The Benefits of Early Childhood Education
In a study that looked at factors for effective transition to Kindergarten, researchers Gary Ladd and Joseph Price gathered observational and interview data on children at the end of preschool and during their Kindergarten year. Based on the results of their study, they found the following:
- Children who engaged in cooperative play and friendly interaction with age mates in preschool transferred these skills to Kindergarten. They were better liked by peers and rated by teachers as more involved in classroom life.
- The presence of preschool friends in Kindergarten enhanced adaption. Familiar age mates serve as a secure base from which children can develop new ties, enhancing children’s peer acceptance and feelings of comfort in the classroom.
These findings suggest a variety of ways to prepare preschoolers for the challenges of Kindergarten. These include encouraging positive social skills during the early years, arranging for children to attend preschool, and helping them establish and maintain peer ties both in and out of school.