If you are the parent of a young child, you will no doubt want to give them the best possible start in life. Education can play a crucial role in your child's development and their future opportunities. When deciding which preschool to send your kid to, you will want to ensure that its teaching philosophy agrees with the way you want your child to be educated. Different approaches to education focus on different areas, so it is essential that you carefully research which one is right for you and your child. Below is a guide to two popular educational programs.

The Montessori Method

The Montessori method was developed by the Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori. The first Montessori school opened in Rome in 1907, but there are now over 22,000 schools located in 110 nations, including Australia. Montessori preschools aim to provide a safe environment which will allow your child to develop confidence in their abilities to solve problems and to develop their language skills. For example, rather than being shown how to complete a task such as identifying a letter of the alphabet, your child will be allowed to attempt a puzzle involving different letters. When your child makes a mistake, they will be encouraged to self-correct. The idea behind this is that your child will develop the skills needed to learn independently. Another feature of the Montessori method is mixed-age classes. The theory behind this is that the older children with act as role models for the younger kids in the class.

The Waldorf Approach

The Austrian Rudolf Steiner developed the Waldorf approach to education in the years following the First World War. The approach focuses on the benefit of play. Unlike the Montessori method which focuses on academic subjects, Waldorf schools believe the kids learn best when having fun and exploring the world. While the day is carefully structured, within each class your kid will be allowed to follow their own interest and to nurture their creativity and curiosity about the world. Activities include outdoor play, singing, painting and reading. This self-directed learning will help your child to develop independence and confidence.

If you are interested in finding out more about the different educational approaches which are used by preschools, you should contact a local education provider today. A member of staff will be happy to discuss your child's needs before recommending a range of different preschools.