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Top 10 Resources on Preschool & Childcare

Preschool teachers and child care providers play a critical role in promoting literacy, preventing reading difficulties, and preparing young children for kindergarten. Learn more about the characteristics of a quality preschool program, activities that build a solid foundation for reading, and how to advocate for your preschool child if you suspect learning delays.
  1. Choosing Childcare
    The first five years of a child's life are a time of tremendous physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth. The experiences a child has during this time can make an impact on their readiness to learn. Here the Education Department offers some tips to guide parents in choosing childcare.
  2. Preschool Language and Literacy Practices
    The What Works Clearinghouse reviewed the research on two practices used in center-based settings with 3- to 5-year-old preK children, as well as a number of specific curricula. Positive results are shown for (1) Phonological awareness training and (2) Interactive and dialogic reading.
  3. What Is a High-Quality Preschool?
    I'm often asked what to look for in a good preschool program. I'll share some resources on the topic (and encourage you to read them) but also tell you to trust your instincts as you're visiting different preschools. I'm always struck by the powerful messages (intentional and unintentional) that schools send to parents. I've learned to really trust those impressions and use them as pieces of information during the decision-making process.
  4. Toddling Towards Reading
    We once thought a child's education started in kindergarten — but that could be years too late. Hosted by Reba McEntire, Toddling Toward Reading examines what it takes to give our preschoolers the early literacy skills they need to become successful readers (part of our PBS Launching Young Readers series).
  5. Simple Things Child Care Providers Can Do to Help All Children Read Well
    Child care providers play a pivotal role in helping young children learn. Simple ways to incorporate literacy activities include reading every day (even with infants), sharing rhymes, songs, and poems, reading about a child's native culture, taking trips to the library, and more.
  6. Phonemic Activities for the Preschool or Elementary Classroom
    Activities that stimulate phonemic awareness in preschool and elementary school children are one sure way to get a child ready for reading! Here are eight of them from expert Marilyn Jager Adams.
  7. Advocating for Your Preschool Child
    It's never too early to start looking for ways to help your child succeed in learning. This article covers children who are under two years old and in preschool. They have rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Find out the first steps to take if you suspect your child has difficulty learning.
  8. RTI Goes to Pre-K
    Can teachers and parents of preschoolers identify learning problems early enough to prevent problems later in school? The Recognition & Response model helps adults know what to look for and how to help, so that later remediation and special education may not be necessary.
  9. Preschool for English Language Learners
    This webcast featuring Dr. Rebecca Palacios offers information on these components of a quality Pre-K ELL program: language instruction, curriculum, professional development, and family outreach.
  10. Pre-K Now
    The state of pre-kindergarten varies across the country. This national snapshot is a good starting point for understanding what's happening in pre-K right now.

See all Preschool and Child Care resources >

Reading Rockets (2011)


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"A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom" —

Robert Frost