If you are a non-religious parent currently looking for a preschool for your child, you may lean towards secular options. However, you might be surprised by the number of non-religious parents who send their children to faith-based preschools. Many religious preschools do not require the family to be members of the affiliated church in order for the children to enroll at the preschool, which makes religious preschool a viable option for families with a variety of beliefs.
While some faith-based preschools have a long waiting list, others have open enrollment throughout the year. Often, large church buildings that are not used during the day make it possible for the associated preschool to expand when necessary without renting other buildings and raising the prices for parents. If there are no open spaces at nearby public or secular private preschools, you may want to check your nearest religious preschool to see if they have space available.
There are several types of accreditation for preschools, and many private preschools are not accredited at all. While some good preschool programs may lack accreditation, sending your child to a school with accreditation helps to ensure their safety, academic development, and social well-being.
When sending your child to a religious preschool, you may look for the Association of Christian Schools International accreditation, which assesses both the academic and spiritual curriculum of the center for quality and consistency.
Many religious preschools attract qualified, experienced teachers. This may be because of several reasons, including the work environment, curriculum, and management of individual programs. Also, in general, preschool teachers working at religious centers tend to have a slightly higher income than teachers working at secular daycare centers.
As religious preschools are generally associated with a church, they have the ability to offer community activities to the whole family. Many parents may be looking for a preschool with active community members so they can make friends with other parents and get support in the raising of their children. Although these parents may not attend the religious ceremonies, they may be active at community events such as picnics, barbecues, fairs, and parties.
The cost of preschool, especially quality private preschools, can be limiting for many parents. Many faith-based preschools are able to offer lower tuition rates than their secular counterparts. This may be because of funding from the associated church, religious tax-exemptions, and little or no rental costs for the building the preschool is held in. These savings make private preschool education affordable for a variety of parents.
Exposure to Different Beliefs
Many non-religious parents can see the benefit of exposing their children to a variety of religious beliefs. Understanding religion can help your child bond with other people throughout their life. It can also help create a balance of critical thought and faith in your child. Finally, the education can be a great way to inspire conversations about faith and religion in your home.
Every faith-based preschool has a different curriculum and their own approach to the academic, social, and spiritual curriculum. While some schools include the occasional Biblical story and prayers before meals, other schools include chapel every week and more intensive religious education.
For more information, go to websites online and read about the schools in your area and then contact an instructor. It is important that you discuss your religious differences with the admissions office at the preschool you are considering to make sure that the school is a good fit for you and your child. You may find that the school has much less emphasis on religion than you expected or that the aspects of religion that they teach to young learners coincide with your non-faith-based morals.