Though many people associate private schools with high school, private school education can start much younger. Some students may even begin their academic career in private nursery schools, especially in more urban areas, where getting into nursery school can set a child on a specific trajectory. Almost six million children total went to private schools in the fall of 2018 and over 40% of three-year-olds, over 65% of four-year-olds, and over 85% of five-year-olds, were in a preprimary program in 2016. Private preschool can be an excellent way to start your child off in an increasingly competitive academic field. It’s common knowledge that having your child attend any preschool or preprimary program is important, but we’ll discuss more in depth why private nursery schools can be so advantageous.
What Preprimary Schools Offer
Preprimary schools started as a form of childcare for those whose parents worked outside the home in the later 18th century. Today, they’re a fairly standardized part of the education system, offering early childhood education before they start mandatory, more formalized schooling in elementary school.
There are a few different terms to know. Preprimary schools can care for children anywhere from six weeks old to six years old and are used before primary school begins. They’re usually set in a nursery school, which can have more of a focus on childcare, though it can also encompass preschool.
And preschool starts as early as two and a half years (though it can depend on some developmental milestones, like being potty trained). Preschool is especially helpful in giving your child advance experience with social interactions, communicating with others, expressing themselves, and learning some cultural or societal “norms.”
Why Should I Be Looking at Private Nursery Schools?
A private nursery school isn’t dependent on funds from the government, nor is it administered by the government. This often means that private schools draw funds from private organizations or tuition directly. They may also have many more resources available to them as a result. Whether it’s advanced technology, better play equipment, or funds to take children on educational field trips, private schools may offer more opportunities to children, even from a young age.
Private schools are also generally more selective and their class sizes are smaller. For a young child, this can be especially beneficial; the teacher to class ratio might be much smaller than in a public school, so special attention can be paid to each child’s development and progress. They won’t get “lost in the shuffle,” so to speak.
Their teachers may also be more specialized and better equipped if your child has a learning disability or difficulty, or, if they’re way ahead of the pack. They can give your child the support and encouragement needed in a much more personalized way.
Depending on which private school you choose, they might also have values or a culture that aligns closely with yours and your family’s. If you belong to a particular religion, for example, you might look for a private school that aligns with that faith.
What Should I Look For With Private Nursery Schools?
As with any school, you want to look at quality of education first and the classroom environment and teacher attention at the school. It’s also important to note how the school handles student performance — whether the student is doing brilliantly or struggling. Visiting the school can be an excellent way to suss this out.
For a private school, you should also see what’s needed for your child to be admitted. Are there certain developmental milestones she or he needs to hit? What’s the curriculum like? How much parent involvement is expected? What are tuition and fees, and what does the payment structure look like? This is all likely covered in meetings with the admission counselors at the school, but it’s good to come prepared with a list of questions.
Private nursery schools can give your child a leg up when they hit kindergarten or elementary school, and on. Some early education schools that are private might also be affiliated with other private institutions where your child can continue their education as well.