If you’re enrolling your child in schooling for the first time, you likely have some questions as to how it all works. When exactly can schooling begin? Is there assistance available for low income families? What’s required from me as a parent? These are all questions you can and should be asking yourself. The Brightside Academy is here to help you answer a few of them, and if you live in Toledo, Akron, Columbus, or Cleveland, we’d love to be your preschool provider as well.
At the Brightside Academy, we have child care and after school programs available for children from young as six weeks to as old as 12. Our programs provide early education and school readiness for children from all walks of life. Our aim is to prepare them not only to be great students, but to be confident, well-rounded people as well. If you think it’s time for your child to start learning in a safe, supportive, school environment, then keep reading to learn more about preschool in the state of Ohio.
Preschool in the State of Ohio
Schooling guidelines and regulations vary from state to state, and it’s not like many of us remember being enrolled, so looking into what’s required from and provided by the state is a good thing to do when it comes time to enroll your child. If you’ve just moved from another state or you’re schooling your first child in the state of Ohio, then here are a few notes to get you started.
When Does Preschool Start in Ohio?
In Ohio, and many other states, typical preschool classes usually start around two years before kindergarten, so typically at 3 years old. This is also where we usually set our bar at Brightside. Before preschool, we provide infant and toddler programs where your child will also be engaged to learn, but in a style appropriate to their age group.
Is There a Difference Between Pre-K and Preschool?
Some people wonder what the difference between pre-k and preschool is, and there’s a lot of information out there to suggest that they’re the same, simply because they’re both schooling that happens before kindergarten. Even the definitions of preschool and pre-k convolute the question, however, preschool and pre-k are not the same thing for some very tangible reasons. Number one being how the government treats their funding. When a politician says they support pre-k funding, they’re typically talking about only the year immediately prior to kindergarten where preschools start to more formally prepare children for kindergarten.
Beyond that, some of the differences simply lie in the approach and focus of learning. Children should reach a certain level of competency with their motor skills and language abilities before moving on to academics. It is a significant benefit to the outcome of most children’s academics to have some type of schooling and social experience before “pre-k.”
What Preschool Programs Are There For Low Income Families in Ohio?
In Ohio, we’re lucky enough to have our children’s preschool paid for if we fall into a certain income group. Head start and early head start are programs that offer free preschool for those families, and the Brightside Academy has them available at our Toledo and Cleveland locations. If you’re of a certain age, there is also Title XX, an act that helps the elderly pay for the schooling of children over whom they have guardianship. See what programs we have available near you. If you’re covered under Title XX or you’re low income and your children are at least 3 years old, then it’s likely you could start your children in preschool very soon.
If you’re not living in Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, or Columbus, then we suggest using this resource to find a preschool that works for you in your Ohio town.
What Should I Expect From Preschool Classes?
Each preschool provider is going to vary in their values, methods, and activities, but there are a few things that should be expected. Among them, a 1 to 10 or less ratio of trained adults to students, care and safety for the child, and the development of motor and language skills. If a preschool seems overcrowded, kids come home hungry or dirty, or you’re not seeing the normal progression of language and motor skills, then there may be some issues to evaluate with the preschool provider.
Is Preschool or Pre-K Mandatory?
In the state of Ohio, children don’t have to go to preschool or pre-k if the parent doesn’t want them to. However, children are required to complete kindergarten, and having a prior education can help students significantly when they get there. If you can find a way to provide one or both of the two to your child, it’s in their best interest. This way, you know that they’re not one to two or even more years behind other students in their schooling efforts and social learning. At the Brightside Academy, our school readiness programs are some of the best in the state.
Get Your Child Started On the Right Foot With Brightside
With the Brightside Academy in Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus, you can be sure that your child is taken care of and they are getting an all-around education that prepared them for school, life, and their challenges. Contact your nearest location and enroll your child today!