Read a roundtable with its founders here, or see new stories in the Human Interest section. Characteristics of children of early preschool age you are reading this article, your kid probably doesn’t need preschool. One morning last September, my husband dragged himself out of bed at 5 a.
The moonlit block was empty but for the first seeds of a sleepy line forming outside the school’s doors—he was the sixth person to join it. It wouldn’t be New York if preschool admissions, or any admissions, were easy. Waldorf preschool versus a Montessori one, little Emma isn’t going to suffer either way. It’s hard to tease out the effects of preschool on a child.
Part of the problem is self-selection: Compared with kids who skip preschool, kids who attend usually have more well-to-do, encouraging parents who read and do puzzles with them at home. But research suggests that parents who are financially comfortable tend to devote more resources and time to their kids, in part because they can. But what does all this have to do with preschool? For instance, in a study published last year, University of Texas psychologist Elliot Tucker-Drob assessed a number of different characteristics in a group of more than 600 pairs of twins.