Preschool is located in DoDEA Americas CONUS locations. All four-year olds who are four by September 1, of the enrolling school year are eligible to attend. Sure Start is located in DoDEA Europe and DoDEA Pacific at select locations. It is an all-day preschool school program that is for a targeted population. Sure Start has an application and selection process where students are selected based on selection criteria. Preschool Services for Children with Disabilities (PSCD) is not a program but services for children with identified disabilities and require individually designed instructional program to meet their unique learning needs.
DoDEA believes in a balanced approach to preschool instruction that includes child-directed and teacher-directed learning experiences. In the preschool classroom children are learning where the teacher explicitly plans for academic learning through play. Children are learning content in an environment that is developmentally appropriate, engaging and responsive. This is playful learning or teacher guided play with learning objectives that allows for the children to explore under teacher guidance through content (math, literacy, science, social studies and the arts) as required by the College and Career Ready Standards for Preschool.
Think about a class store. As the sales clerk, children write out receipts and create bills for shoppers. As the shopper, a child may make a list, use classification skills to sort for shelf and refrigeration, as well as count and analyze to see if they can use the express lane. The situation replicates real life and learning is meaningful including listening, speaking and thinking about what to stock in the store and what to purchase.
Many parents are eager to know what their child needs to know before they go to kindergarten. To help your child have a successful transition to kindergarten you should help your child become independent, develop self-help skills and responsibility, and learn to follow routines. Reading aloud to your child each day and engaging in meaningful math and literacy activities will help prepare them for the content to be presented in kindergarten. Lastly, acknowledge your child’s feelings about the transition to kindergarten and help ease any anxieties. Here are some tips to help prepare your child for Kindergarten. NAEYC for families: Ready or Not Kindergarten, Here We Come!
DoDEA Early Childhood Instructional Systems Specialist
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria VA 22350-1400