OPINION: Good habits begin in preschool


By Jennifer Quinonez for Los Angeles Universal Preschool

imageFour-year-old Farid eagerly grabs his father’s hand and leads him into the colorful preschool classroom as fast as he can.

“Baba, ehna lazem nimshi. El madrasa hatebtedi!” Farid, who only speaks Arabic, excitedly had just said: “Daddy, it’s time to go, school will start soon!”

“My son is very excited about school,” said Farid’s father Anton Gendry. “In our country [Egypt], we care a lot about school. Now that we live here in the United States, I want him to go to school and learn English. My wife and I know we have to bring him here every day so he learns.”

Creating good habits like attending preschool regularly and on-time is vital to a child’s healthy development. According to research, a child’s attendance habit constitutes a direct link to his or her overall academic success – or failure.

“Consistent attendance is critical, because the curriculum builds and there’s a pattern to it,” said Los Angeles Universal Preschool Program Director Nonie Smith. “If a child comes and goes irregularly, there’s going to be a learning gap.”

Studies show that regular attendance in a high-quality early education program can boost literacy and social skills, as well as better prepare children for their future.

“Four-year-olds need to know what to expect, they need a routine,” added Smith. “It’s traumatic for a child to have inconsistency in their life. Security for a preschooler is imperative for their brain to be open to learning.”

Once a child enters elementary school, there’s even more reason for parents to take attendance seriously.

“We monitor attendance very carefully at the elementary level because we have a very rigorous pace, and every day, a teacher has to follow a daily map to ensure the curriculum is covered,” said Principal Kathy Carbajao. “The academic program is so thorough, that if a child is absent or tardy, they fall dramatically behind.”

For parents like Victoria Miranda, making the effort to teach her two children the importance of attending school regularly has already paid off.

“My fifth-grader won two awards this month for math and language and she gets them every year,” said Miranda. “She has confidence and loves school. Our preschooler is now following in her footsteps.”

Please visit www.laup.net or 1-866-675-5400 for more information about enrolling your child in a high-quality preschool program in Los Angeles County.

Read more on this topic:
Preschool Cool: the benefits of preschool


  1. cosa aranda says:

    Once your child begins walking, he will become more and more independent. Toddlers and preschoolers want to try to do a number of things on their own and parents have a tremendous opportunity to instill good, healthy habits as they teach self-care skills during this stage of development.
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