When discussing the benefits of preschool, many conversations revolve around the educational benefits of the child.
But, according to Tracey Bortz, director of early childhood education at Gross Schechter Day School in Pepper Pike, and Jane Walker, director of the pre-primary school at Laurel School in Shaker Heights, parents also benefit from preschool.
“Parents benefit because when they send their child to a program, along with their child attending school, that comes with a complete support service for the entire family,” Walker said. “For example, when we welcome a child to Laurel, we welcome the whole family. That partnership between home and school is critical for the child to have the best possible experience.”
Bortz said, “For parents, there is almost nothing as important as knowing your child is safe and happy when they are at school. Knowing they are treated with love, care and patience provide parents with such peace of mind.”
Additionally, the educators said parents have access to a unique support system.
“Parents also benefit from finding partners in providing their children with love and support,” Bortz said. “What a wonderful gift to give your child: the ability to rely on and trust others.”
Walker added, “That partnership between home and school is critical for the child to have the best possible experience. Many things come up when children are young in a preschool environment, and we’re here to help not only the children get over the hurdles but also the parents.”
Both professionals said the need for preschool and daycare programs have grown over the years, as many parents need extra help.
“We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of families requiring full day care from as young as six weeks old,” Bortz explained. “We do our best to meet the needs of families who want a quality educational experience for their kids, within a safe and warm environment for a full day.”
Walker said there are a lot of different reasons for the growth, but working parents have definitely been a big push.
“We understand that many parents are going to work and have dual working families,” she stated. “But, we also recognize that there are young parents who make the choice to stay at home with their young children. We try to be as working-parent accommodating as possible.”
Walker added some parents like to be involved, and some don’t, but it’s important for programs to have an open line of communication with every type of parent.
“Everything impacts a child’s day, so we like to be on the same page with everyone,” she said. “We don’t want parents to worry and to know their children are safe.”
Preschool can function as an extra layer of support for parents.
“Knowing that their children are cared for and enriched gives parents confidence,” Bortz noted. “Partnering with our teachers and administrators gives parents extra sources of advice and insight so they can continue to grow into the best parents they can be.”
Walker added, “Another thing parents benefit from is a network of other parents - other people to talk about what’s going on. They find what they are looking for. Can they find people to talk to? If you have your child at a school that is taking the entire family into consideration, parents are finding what they need.”