Does preschool really matter to a child's development? Absolutely!
Preschool is so much more than a structured version of daycare. The lessons children under the age of five learn in preschool show considerable benefits into their early school years and throughout their development. There’s ever-increasing evidence to support those benefits.
So the question for Toronto parents is, "How do I choose the best preschool in Toronto for my child?" It's not an easy question to answer!
What Is the Point of Preschool Really?
Depending on the kind of preschool program that you enroll them in, children will learn numerous skills, both academic and social. But preschool is about far more than merely teaching children their colours, shapes, and maybe a few new words. It also starts to teach children essential lessons about socializing with other kids and how to interact with adults who aren't a parent, other family member, or babysitter.
Preschool also allows children to develop away from their primary caregiver. This is something that can often cause high levels of anxiety for both the child and parent. Preschool offers a safe way of sending a child off "on their own" for a few hours a week, which will help to prepare both child and parent for kindergarten. With a year or more of preschool behind them, children can confidently step into the more academic environment of kindergarten without their parents having to stand behind them at all times.
All of that said, let's not forget that preschool should be fun! This isn't a super-structured learning environment like the one older kids experience in elementary school. Instead, children will learn lessons through games, stories, music, and artistic activities. A joyful preschool experience can help your child grow and learn more about the world in a comforting, supportive, and super-fun environment.
How Do You Decide on the Best Toronto Preschool?
So how can you be sure you’re choosing the best Toronto preschool for your child?
Picking the right preschool for your kids can require a bit of research. There are so many options in Toronto. You need to be sure that your choice will not just be safe and nurturing, but also an excellent fit for your child's personality, interests, and for your family’s values.
1. Toronto Preschool Location
First, you want to pick a preschool that's within a reasonable distance of your home or work. Our preschool programs at Pegasus are ideally situated for parents in the East End of Toronto. We're located just off the Danforth, steps away from the TTC at Coxwell Station—perfect for families who live in the Leslieville, Beaches, and Danforth neighbourhoods.
2. Class Size
Next, you want to be sure that your child will get the attention they need. One of the biggest struggles facing public education today is class size. If there are too many children in a classroom, any single teacher will have a very hard time meeting their needs. It doesn't matter how talented or dedicated an educator; one adult can only take care of so many children.
At Pegasus, we make sure that there's a high ratio of adults to children. For every five children, there will be one adult to support their growth. This is something that sets us apart from not just the education system as a whole, but also from many other preschools located in Toronto and the GTA.
3. Preschool Content & Focus
What focus does each preschool offer? While most preschools are “generalist” preschools without a particular emphasis, consider the benefits associated with a specialist preschool. For example, there are Montessori schools, which take a child-centered educational approach to early childhood education based on scientific observations of children. And there are preschools like Pegasus that use the arts to stimulate child development from an early age. These focused preschools are designed to accelerate cognitive ability, creativity, and learning in your child and can provide value that your child will benefit from throughout their childhood.
4. Ontario Ministry of Education
Finally, you should make sure that a preschool takes into consideration the guidelines from the Ontario Ministry of Education Kindergarten Program. An excellent Toronto preschool program should fully prepare your child for kindergarten. Having a foundation in early childhood education should be the bare minimum for a preschool. This is something that we strongly believe at Pegasus.
Pegasus Director Jane Davis-Munro is a Certified Early Childhood Educator who ensures that our program works in conjunction with all health practices of early childhood development. She's been working with the parents and children of Toronto for over 30 years, giving her powerful insight into what young children need to thrive.
Our Preschool Philosophy
We believe that preschool can and should give young children the gift of the creativity of the arts. The inherent creativity of children is breathtaking and developing that innate ability can ignite a love of learning and discovery that children will carry with them into grade school and beyond!
We first started Pegasus' Childhood Expressions™ Fine Arts Program 33 years ago. Many things have changed in our understanding of early childhood development in that time, and we have continued to evolve and develop our programming.
Our fine arts-based program is in a constant state of growth and enrichment as new discoveries are made in childhood cognitive, physical, and emotional development. Our program lays down rich and fulfilling stepping stones for your child to transition into kindergarten. Through three unique daily programs, each focusing on a different aspect of the arts, we create and explore through dance, art, and dramatic play.
Please keep in mind that Pegasus Studios' Childhood Expressions™ Fine Arts Program isn't a daycare; it's a specialty creative arts preschool program designed for children 30 months or older. We hold our classes every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 AM to 11:30 AM for ages 2.5 to 5 years old near Coxwell and Danforth in Toronto.
So, when it comes to choosing the best preschool for your child, it should really boil down to your gut. We suggest that you check out the facilities, meet the teachers, and even talk to the parents of former students. We believe that the best preschool is one where children can learn and express themselves in a nurturing, safe, and fun environment, and that's what we provide at Pegasus!
If you'd like to learn more about Pegasus' famous Childhood Expressions Preschool Program, we invite you to contact us today! We would love to discuss your goals and values and to see if we would be the right fit for your family.
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