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Preschool programs provide early childhood education and care for children, and help them develop a range of skills that make them ready to learn when they start school, such as:

  • Social skills: the ability to empathize and interact successfully with their peer group, and also relate easily to adults.

  • Language skills: the ability to have adequate language skills in order to benefit from experiences facilitating their cognitive, educational and social development. 

  • Executive function skills: the ability to hold and manipulate information in the brain, plan and regulate one’s behaviour, problem-solve, and be creative.

  • Emotional self-regulation skills: the ability to adapt behaviours depending on the situation, to control impulses and to shift attention. 

  • Self-regulation in learning skills: the ability to postpone immediate satisfaction to attain long-term goals, sustain attention, be persistent, and remain concentrated.

Preschool programs are particularly successful in giving children from vulnerable families a boost, putting them on even footing with more affluent families as they prepare to start school.