Research links or other evidence about the benefits of preschool and ideal starting age?

(6 Posts)
miramar Wed 07-May-14 22:01:27

Do you know of any links to research or evidence-based info about the optimum age to start preschool (i.e. semi-structured education setting, not day care)? Also info about what to look for in a preschool would be great.

Many local preschools prefer children to attend 5 days a week (not full days, granted.) I'm interested in how this more structured week compares to the research we see about other countries, e.g. Scandinavia, where children's formal education starts at a later age than in the UK. Although the local preschools can talk about "learning through play" etc, there doesn't seem to be much of that happening in practice. Granted with 20/40/ however many preschool-aged children to look after, more structure and less free play may be inevitable.

insancerre Thu 08-May-14 06:49:18

Sorry to disagree but there is plenty of learning through play happening in my preschool.
Traditionally, boys and summer born children ate behind their peers when they start school but not the children we have.
I have boys who ate reading, writing and spelling independently and summer norms who are very secure in their learning

All achieved through a play based approach.
For ypur evidence look at the EPPE project

miramar Thu 08-May-14 07:47:52

I'm not sure why you say "story to disagree"- you don't know which places I visited, so can't know how much learning through play is happening at them. Surely like schools and childcare nurseries there is a variation in how preschools operate.

bookishmum Mon 26-May-14 02:46:55

Hi Miramar, did you get any further finding the research you were looking for? I followed the link to the EPPE project and it looked very interesting. Anything more to add?

bookishmum Mon 26-May-14 02:59:10

Here's some information I've just found:
www.cam.ac.uk/research/discussion/school-starting-age-the-evidence

Whereas the EPPSE stuff seems to be saying that early preschool is beneficial to children's development, the above link goes through to a summary of recent research which seems to suggest that early starts into formalised educational settings are not beneficial to the child.

miramar Mon 26-May-14 06:46:50

Thanks, I found a local preschool which prioritises learning through play. Compared to the others it seems a breath of fresh air. Here's hoping it works out. In the meantime I'll read your link.

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