The Different Types of Pre-Primary School

The Different Types of Pre-Primary School
The Different Types of Pre-Primary School

Interested in finding a pre-primary school for your child? During this guide, we outline some of the most popular types of pre-primary school.

Are you looking for a pre-primary school for your child? Wondering what the different types of pre-primary schools are. During this guide, we delve into the different types of pre-primary schools, as well as some of the pros and cons of each.

Here are the most common types of pre-primary school:

  • Full daycare services: Full daycare services are one of the most popular types of pre-primary schools. Full daycare services are offered to pre-school children for over three and a half hours. Full daycare service centers include nurseries and creches, and these types of pre-primary schools are typically geared towards all ages of young children, including babies. These centers can also take in school-age children in the afternoon. These centers are wonderful for parents who are considering going back to work either full-time or part-time. They are definitely worth considering, especially if you think the other pre-primary school options will not offer the hours you are looking for.
  • Sessional services: Sessional services provide a planned program for typically no more than three and a half hours per session. These schools include preschools, playgroups, creches, and other groups, including Naionrai and Montessori schools. These pre-primary schools are typically available to children age three and over. According to research, playgroups tend to make up about 60 percent of all sessional care service centers.
  • Drop-in centers: Drop-in centers are another wonderful pre-primary school option. With drop-in centers, children can be left for a short amount of time, while parents take advantage of a service, like shopping at a store or working out at a gym. These centers are certainly not a long-term option, but they are a great way for parents to get child care when they need it.
  • Playschool: Playschools is another popular pre-primary school option for young children. Playschools use a play-based curriculum to help children through their developmental progress. Playschools include a supervised environment that encourages free play to help children foster a sense of independence and learn how to make decisions and solve problems. Playschools typically include a lot of arts and crafts, outdoor play, dress up and music activities.
  • Preschool: Preschools are another very common pre-primary school option. The preschool environment helps your child prepare for the huge transition into primary school. Preschools tend to offer a structured routine at a gentle pace. They also typically provide a play-based curriculum, including arts and crafts, music, songs, tabletop activities, and outdoor play. 
  • Montessori school: Created by Italian educator Dr. Maria Montessori over 100 years ago, Montessori schools provide a structured environment, in which your child will be enabled to learn, grow, and develop at their own pace. Montessori schools tend to use age and stage appropriate specific Montessori equipment. These schools also typically offer arts and crafts, music, and outdoor playtime. Teachers and group leaders guide student-driven learning in these pre-primary school classrooms. Students are able to choose which activities speak to their own interests. The Montessori approach promotes independence, a passion for learning, and accountability.
  • High Scope: The High Scope method is a very popular pre-primary school option. Schools that use the High Scope method typically use a plan, do and review program, meaning that the kids sit down in the morning with their staff and plan what they want to do, then they go about their activities for the day, and at the end of the day, the children review how the day went with the staff members. This method and program promotes a sense of independence in the young students and encourages them to learn how to make decisions and how to solve problems. High Scope schools help children through general developmental progress through fun activities that they choose independently.
  • Naionrai: The naionrai environment, another common pre-primary school option, uses a play-based curriculum. Many of the activities in a naionrai environment are the same as a playschool with the additional benefit of using the Irish language in an engaging, encouraging, and fun way. Children perform a diverse range of activities and games, using age-appropriate toys, as well as sand and water. There is also a huge emphasis on arts and crafts. Naionrai schools also help children develop their skills in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. 
  • Reggio Emilia: Reggio Emilia is another popular pre-primary school approach that approaches the young student holistically and takes the whole child’s emotional and intellectual potential into account. Similar to the Montessori approach, Reggio Emilia focuses on a student-driven approach that gives students the freedom to express and explore their own ideas with hands-on activities, movement, and active listening. Classroom activities promote collaboration to help children foster relationships with others and the world around them.