Learn more about Nursery school
A nursery school or preschool is a facility providing preschool education or school for the education of very young children, preceding formal compulsory education. It is generally considered part of early childhood education. In some jurisdictions the provision of nursery school services is on a user pays or limited basis whilst some governments fund preschool education. Universal preschool services is the subject of some discussion internationally.
 Preschool in the United Kingdom
In the UK, preschool education in nursery classes or schools is fully funded by the government and is generally available to children aged over 3. Preschool education can be provided by childcare centres, playgroups, nursery schools and nursery classes within primary schools. Private nursery education is also available throughout the UK and varies between structured pre-school education and a service offering child-minding facilities.
 England and Wales
Each child in England and Wales is entitled to a five two and a half hour sessions per week, this entitlment is subsidised by the government. <ref> BBC Parenting, Help with Child Care</ref> Preschools in England and Wales follow the Early Learning Goals for education produced by the DFES which carries on into their first year of school at age of 4, this year of school is usually called Reception. The Early Learning Goals cover the main areas of education without being subject driven. These areas include<ref>QCA Foundation Stage</ref>:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development,
- Communication, Language and Literacy,
- Mathmatical Development,
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World,
- Physical Development,
- Creative Developement
In Scotland children are entitled to a place in a nursery class when they reach their third birthday. This gives parents the option of two years of funded pre-school education before beginning primary one; the first year of compulsory education. Nursery children who are three years old are referred to as Ante-Pre School whilst children who are 4 years old are termed Pre-School.
The five areas of development are:
- emotional, personal and social development,
- communication and language,
- knowledge and understanding of the world,
- expressive and aesthetic development,
- physical development and movement
 Preschool in the USA
In the USA preschool is provided in a variety of settings. Childcare, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten depending on the age of the child and the choices made by parents. In general kindergarten and pre-kindergarten work to develop children through planned programnmes whilst childcare centres will focus largely on the care and supervision of children.
Kindergarten type settings will tend to focus on such areas as early social skills including interpersonal interaction, being a part of a group of peers, and classroom skills such as following the instructions of a teacher. Some formal education also takes place, such as early reading or language skills. Pre-kindergarten is defined as: "center-based programs for 4-year olds that are fully or partially funded by state education agencies and that are operated in schools or under the direction of state and local education agencies"<ref>http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~ncedl/pages/pre-k_study.cfm</ref>.
Some nursery schools have adopted specialized methods of teaching, such as Montessori, High Scope<ref>High Scope></ref>, Reggio Emilia approach, Bank Street and various other pedagogy. In the United States most preschool advocates support the National Association for the Education of Young Children's Developmentally Appropriate Practices. Universal Preschool is the notion that access to preschool should be available to families in a similar way as Kindergarten. There are different perspectives on priorities for access and how it is to be funded.
 Head Start programme
The goal of Head Start and Early Head Start is to increase the school readiness of young children in low income families. These programs serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. Head Start was started by the Federal Government in 1964 to help meet the needs of disadvantaged preschool children.
The office of Economic Opportunity launched Project Head Start as an 8 week summer program in 1965. It was then transferred to the Office of Child Development in the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1969. Today it is a program within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. Programs get administered locally by school systems and non-profit organizations.
- Services provided by Head Start
- Disabilities - All programs fully include children with disabilities
- Education- The goal of Head Start is to ensure that those children enrolled in the program are ready to begin school. Activities are geared towards skill and knowledge domains.
- Family and Community Partnerships - both groups involved in operation, governance and evaluation of the program. Both groups make vital contributions.
- Health - Health is seen as an important factor in a child's ability to thrive and develop. Program provides screenings to evaluate a child's overall health, regular health check-ups, and good practices in oral health, hygiene, nutrition, personal care, and safety.
- Program Management and Operations - "focus on delivering high-quality child development services to children from low-income families."
 Day care
Day care, or as it is known in Australia, child care can overlap with preschool in providing early childhood education, to children whose families use long day care to allow the parents to work. Many child care centres in Australia provide preschool and kindergarten early childhood education services.
 See also
- Steve Biddulph, author of Raising Babies: Should Under 3s Go to Nursery? ISBN 0-00-722192-4
 External links
- QCA Foundation Stage
- BBC Parenting Information on Child Care
- Early Years information at Learning and Teaching Scotland
This portal shows a broad overview of educational stages and as such not all stages apply in all jurisdictions.de:Kinderkrippe