It's Called (Pre) School for a Reason: An Early Childhood Facilitator Says Many Have Forgotten the Meaning of the Word Preschool by Renée LaBossiere

It's Called (Pre) School for a Reason: An Early Childhood Facilitator Says Many Have Forgotten the Meaning of the Word Preschool

When you see the word preschool what comes to mind? Many will agree it's a center for young children to attend and to learn, a place for early childhood educationPreschool should be exactly as it is written – BEFORE school, prior to school – but it seems as though many have lost the meaning of it.

A preschool should be a place where young children can go to enjoy their childhood while their parents are working. It should be a place where they feel safe and cared for, nurtured and guided, where they can play and explore their wonder and curiosity. If we want to refer to early childhood as a education, this is how kids learn. A place where trained ECE professionals understand the science and brain research of child development and can provide all of this for them. Not a place where academics are pushed. A place where these professionals can be the voice of our children and stand up for their rights to play.

Children are born to explore, discover and play. They learn better this way. It's not something that we should take away.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary preschool describes preschool as "of, relating to, or constituting the period in a child's life that ordinarily precedes attendance at elementary school."

When you look up the two words separately, pre and school, this is what you'll find:

  • pre – earlier than : prior to : before
  • school – an organization that provides instruction

When you look up early childhood education, it is the education of children from birth through age 8. 

In my early years, when I was growing up, I played and learned when I was ready. Kindergarten was kindergarten – I learned while I played. When I was 6, turning 7, and in first grade, I learned to read. I'm sure that many from my generation would agree! When I think back to my elementary days, I even had the benefit of the same two teachers from third through fifth grade, which I realize now is a Waldorf practice. I was in a public school. Academics started in first grade, not in preschool!

Which brings me to the word academy. Why do I see some preschools still use academy in their center's name? Academy refers to academics. Academics should not even be thought of in early childhood centers. In my opinion, it's not even developmentally appropriate. Academics are for a little later in the ECE years, but not preschools. Preschools or early childhood centers should be left alone as they are meant to be – playschools.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts below.

The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community. Inspire and be inspired.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Parents, Say "Yes" to Kids Climbing Up the Slide: 7 Unexpected Reasons Why

​Educational Toys & Games? Blah! Here's Why This Term Bothers the Heck Out of Me

Why Does Sitting Still Equal Learning for Kids? The Myth of the Brain & Body As Separate Entities

Encouraging Kids' Curiosity: How to Create an "I Wonder" Wall in 3 Easy Steps

Never thought about it like that but makes sense!
Renée LaBossiere
Thank you for reading & your feedback.
Donna John
So interesting! I was of the generation that kindergarten was pretty much still play. First grade was when it got serious business. Renée LaBossiere
Renée LaBossiere
Yes, exactly! Thank you for your feedback, Donna John
Elisa Schmitz
"It should be a place where they feel safe and cared for, nurtured and guided, where they can play and explore their wonder and curiosity." Thank you for making this point, Renée LaBossiere . In our increasingly competitive world, I think many parents are looking to give their child an "edge," by starting academics earlier. The pandemic may have shifted that a bit, but I'm sure that competitive spirit is still alive and well in many families. Let's hope that this past year has taught us all that life is fleeting and we should let kids be kids, as long as they can. Welcome to 30Seconds!
Renée LaBossiere
Thank you for welcoming me and I appreciate the feedback Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Some of the joy of childhood has been lost unfortunately. Kids are too scheduled and so much is expected at younger ages now.
Renée LaBossiere
Tribe I appreciate the feedback. I believe that there a lot in the ECE field who think differently and are trying to change these. Rae Pica being one. Here are a couple links from my FB page that I've also written about.
Rae Pica
Thanks for the shoutout, Renee!
Mike Prochaska
Love this!! Let them play!!

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Kids & Grief: 5 Ways to Help a Grieving Child Express Their Feelings

Celebrating Mom: A Son's Mother’s Day Reflection On Strength & Resilience

How Playing Board Games With Kids Helps Language Development

Parenting Preschoolers: 10 Essential Parenting Tips for Nurturing Your Preschooler's Growth