Students learn the basic elements of math, shapes, time, reading and writing during their time in kindergarten. It’s an incredibly formative time in children’s education, which is why choosing the best educational setting for your child is essential. Education standards can vary significantly across states and schools, but it’s crucial to select a school that will set your child up for success from the start.
Kindergarten is the foundation of a child’s whole educational career. It’s where learning and playing go hand in hand, and it marks a significant milestone in their life. If you’re unsure where to send your child for kindergarten, keep reading to discover the benefits of private kindergarten education.
Public vs. Private Kindergarten: Making the Decision That’s Right for Your Family
The state governs public schools, often funded by tax dollars or grants. Their students usually come from the surrounding area or neighborhood, which means that where you live might dictate what school your child is eligible to attend. Public schools follow standard curricula from the state and often incorporate a good deal of standardized testing to track student progress.
What is private kindergarten? Private schools, or independent schools, are not beholden to the state for educational guidance. They reserve the right to select students and their funding comes from student tuition rather than tax dollars. Many private schools have religious affiliations, but some don’t.
When choosing between public and private school education, there are important considerations regarding your family’s needs. When evaluating schools, consider:
- Teachers and education resources
- Class sizes
- Parental involvement
- Safety considerations
- Extracurricular activities
While kindergarten often shares a basic curriculum across most states and schools, there can be significant differences across educational settings. If you’re considering between public and private schools for kindergarten, take into account your child’s needs as well as the school’s offerings.
Teachers and Educational Resources
One major difference between public and private school teachers is the licensing requirements — public school teachers must have state licensure, which often isn’t required to teach in private schools. Every state has certain education requirements for prospective teachers, including supervised teaching, testing and evaluations. Since public school teachers have this certification, you can be sure they have the right abilities to teach.
However, just because private schools don’t always require state licensure, that doesn’t mean their teachers are less qualified. In fact, employment at private schools is often more competitive than at public schools, so private institutions can be more selective. Even though private schools don’t require state certification, many teachers still have this licensure through their own educational institution.
Educational resources also vary between public and private schools. Resources at public schools all vary between areas, as some schools may have more available funding than others. Depending on the location of your home, you may have access to a public school with plenty of resources — or you might only be eligible for one that lacks the necessary funding.
At private schools, resources also vary, but because they receive their funding from student tuition rather than tax dollars, they have better resources across the board than public schools. Some private schools place a high emphasis on the arts, while others may put more funding into STEM programs. For these schools, the issue isn’t if they have funding, but where they focus most of their resources.
Another huge plus of private kindergarten is that many schools offer pre-kindergarten programs, which allow students to enter the school before the qualifying age for kindergarten. Unlike a standard daycare program, pre-k programs focus equally on a child’s social and emotional development as it does on cognitive development. In pre-K, children gain the fundamentals that they’ll need to enter kindergarten.
Teachers and educational resources are among the top reasons parents choose to send their children to private kindergarten. With great educators and plenty of educational resources, private kindergartens are sure to set children up for success in the rest of their academic careers.
Class size is another important factor in deciding whether public or private kindergarten is right for your child. The number of students per teacher or teacher’s aide can have an enormous impact on the quality of education and individual attention your child can receive. While many colleges use the size of their classes for marketing their school, smaller class sizes can be even more important in early education.
Since public schools can’t limit enrollment or turn away students when they’ve reached their limit, class sizes are often larger. According to national education statistics, public schools in the United States have an average class size of 20.9 in self-contained classes and 26.2 in departmentalized instruction. The state of Utah comes in with the largest class size at 38.5.
In contrast, all private schools in the country have an average of 16.7 for self-contained and 17.6 for departmentalized classes. These significantly lower class sizes mean students get more attention and teachers can spend more time dedicating their lesson plans to the needs of each child. However, because private schools limit enrollment, certain programs can be very competitive and difficult to enter — for especially competitive schools, parents often sign up their child for waitlists in advance.
Public schools often have problems with overcrowding, but that won’t be an issue in private schools. With smaller class sizes, a private kindergarten program will provide plenty of individual attention for your child. And kindergarten students, as many parents know, need plenty of attention. Researchers have documented the enormous benefits of smaller class sizes, including:
- Higher test scores
- Greater school participation
- Improved behavior
Furthermore, students reportedly retain these benefits even into their later years of schooling. Smaller class sizes make the largest impact in the early years of schooling, like kindergarten, so investing in private early childhood education and kindergarten is an investment in your child’s future.
Solid parent-teacher communication is essential in the first years of a child’s education. Since public school teachers have to deal with huge workloads and larger class sizes, they often don’t have time to give the individualized communications to parents that private school teachers can. Since early elementary school education is some of the most formative for children, having parents involved can lead to better success rates.
In general, increased parental involvement in the school community leads to higher grades and better homework completion rates. In fact, a surprising statistic reveals that students perform better overall when parents are involved in the school community, regardless of whether or not they’re the students’ own parents.
Parental involvement is one of the biggest long-term benefits of private schools. When teachers establish a routine of communicating with parents early on, parents are more likely to stay involved in their child’s education.
In addition to having more teacher attention and parent involvement, safety is one of the major private school advantages. All parents want to know their children are safe at school. According to a recent study, private schools provide safer learning environments than public schools.
Being in a safe environment allows children to flourish. Having a high standard for discipline and respect, as most private schools do, is essential. Because teachers can offer more individualized attention in a private kindergarten, they can intervene and even prevent conflicts and bullying. When children feel safe and protected at school, they’re more likely to perform better and have better attendance rates.
Another important safety consideration is access to the school. Even in tight-knit communities, schools should have extensive safety measures to ensure only authorized adults and staff can access the building. Private school students have more adults who can keep watch and pay attention to any potential security risks.
Extracurricular activities open doors for students to learn new skills and realize new passions. They also help students by fostering emotional, academic and social development. While public schools may lack the funding to provide many different extracurricular activities, one of the benefits of private kindergarten is that the school will likely have more funding to support a variety of extracurriculars.
Whether your child has an interest in sports, arts or STEM, private kindergartens can provide the extracurricular activities that will help them develop their interests. In addition to after-school activities, private schools often provide summer programs to keep kids engaged even when they aren’t in school.
Is Private Kindergarten Worth It?
Two of the biggest questions parents ask are whether sending their children to private kindergarten is worth it and how much private kindergarten costs. While it’s true that parents pay much less for public education, private school is an investment in children’s futures. Because the funding of public schools varies by location, parents should consider whether the public school their child is eligible to attend measures up to the private schools in the area.
Additionally, while public school is free, homes are not. In areas with good public schools, the cost of homes is much higher and the market is much more competitive than in less well-performing school districts. So while public education is free, you might be paying for it in your mortgage — that is, if you manage to land a house in your desired district in the first place.
Evaluating the teachers, educational opportunities, extracurriculars and safety at each school can help you decide whether one choice is better for your family over another. Across the board, private schools score better in student achievement, parent involvement and safety. Making the right choice is up to your family’s individual needs.
The Benefits of Haymarket Children’s Academy
Deciding to send your child to private kindergarten is only the first choice you have to make. The next one is which private school will you choose. Haymarket Children’s Academy (HCA) should be your first choice for private kindergarten in Gainseville. Below, we’ve broken down the numerous benefits of attending HCA:
1. Top-Notch Teachers
We have some of the best teachers in the state. In fact, one of our kindergarten teachers earned the title “Teacher of the Year” in Virginia and has over six years of experience in pre-K and kindergarten. All our teachers and staff have a caring approach to education and are passionate about helping young students. Additionally, in our school community, students form close relationships with their teachers.
2. Small Class Sizes
HCA’s private kindergarten program provides a nurturing environment for students to thrive. With small class sizes, your child is sure to get the personalized attention they deserve. The student-to-teacher ratio at HCA is ten to one, and we limit our class sizes to ten to avoid “teaching to the middle.”
3. Play-Based Learning Program
Our play-based learning program sets us apart from other private schools. We place an emphasis on using games and activities to encourage critical-thinking skills. We curate classrooms as fun and nurturing environments because we know kids learn best when they are engaged. With four playgrounds, three jungle gyms and a nature trail, we have ample opportunities for play and outdoor learning on our four-acre campus.
4. Cognia Accredited School
To ensure our continued excellence and keep our curriculum up-to-date, we’ve enrolled in the Cognia accreditation program. In addition to accrediting our school programs, we also undergo third-party evaluations to improve our school continually. We strive to provide the most holistic education and we commit to doing everything we can to reach that goal.
5. Extracurricular Programs
In addition to a fantastic curriculum, HCA provides numerous possibilities for extracurricular programs. From 6:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening, we offer before and after school programs to accommodate parent’s varying schedules. Over the summer, we offer a fun and exciting program, Camp Blue Ridge, that will allow kids to explore the outdoors and experience a variety of new activities.
6. Enhanced Safety Measures
Student safety is our top priority. We lock all entry doors, require FOB and key code access, and have fencing around the school perimeter. Only authorized adults can collect children from school. All staff undergoes criminal and CPS background checks. Additionally, we recently renovated our classrooms to create a comforting and safe learning environment for students.
7. Additional Benefits
HCA employs an on-site chef to prepare all snacks and meals, which we include in the price of tuition. Our chef has been with HCA for many years and purchases locally sourced ingredients to create meals that are equally nutritious and delicious. Another perk of HCA is that we are one of the only private schools to employ an on-site nurse to provide care to our students.
Learn More About Our Private Kindergarten Program in Gainesville, VA
At Haymarket Children’s Academy, we pride ourselves on giving children the skills they need in our ever-changing world. Private kindergarten provides enriching education and individualized attention you can’t find at most public schools. Everything from our teachers and educational resources to our extracurricular activities and safety measures is set up to help students achieve their true potential.
If you decide that a private kindergarten education is right for your family, check out Haymarket Children’s Academy’s private kindergarten program. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today!