While the appropriateness of preschools will always be debated, the choice of whether or not to place kids in these types of programs is a personal one and should be left up to the parents. So knowing the advantages and disadvantages of preschool programs is important because it can enable moms and dads to make more informed decisions about what's best for their children.

Advantages of Preschool Programs

Preschool gives children the opportunity to participate in activities they wouldn’t normally get to do at home such as arts and crafts, science activities, sand and water play and music and movement. These types of activities can enrich kids’ lives, enhance their development and provide them with tons of fun things to do during the day.

Kids who attend preschool get to interact with peers and learn the art of socialization. When it’s time to head off to kindergarten, children who’ve attended preschool tend to be more emotionally prepared because they’re already accustomed to a certain level of structure as well being away from home.

Disadvantages of Preschool Programs

There is a big expense associated with a quality preschool program. According to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, the average yearly cost of full-time child care for a 4-year-old in Alabama is close to $5,000 per year (price ranges vary from state-to-state).

Some kids get along just fine in group settings, but others need more individualized attention to thrive. Although most preschools strive to give each child one-on-one attention, it’s almost impossible to do unless teacher-student ratios are low. Kids can spend up to nine hours a day in full-time preschool programs. When they get home there's just enough time for them to eat dinner, listen to a story and get tucked into bed. So kids may not get enough quality time with their parents.

Kids in preschool programs are exposed to a number of illnesses, so they get sick more often than kids who stay at home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some viruses and bacteria can live more than 2 hours on surfaces -- not to mention all the germs kids pass back and forth when they share toys.

Quality preschool programs can enrich kids’ lives, build socialization skills and enhance their development. But these types of programs can also be expensive, expose kids to a plethora of illnesses and cause missed quality time with parents. After weighing the advantages and disadvantages of preschool programs, you can decide for yourself what’s best for your child.

Source: Examiner.com - http://tinyurl.com/cwovrr