Curriculum and Resources

Early Childhood Education

Young Children Need Preschool

Ninety Percent of Brain Growth Happens Before Kindergarten

Incredibly, an infant’s brain doubles in size in the first year, and it keeps growing to about 80 percent of adult size by age 3 and 90 percent – nearly full grown – by age 5.

Ages 3 and 4 are prime ages for valuable learning. And investing in a high-quality early education can yield valuable returns, such as less likelihood for the need of special education services, reduced grade repetition and higher rates of high school graduation, to name a few.

The In-Person Preschool Imperative

Typical 3- and 4-year-olds don’t fare well with remote instruction. For young children to successfully prepare for school and meet developmental milestones, they must be physically present in the classroom and have face-to-face interaction with teachers and other children.

In preschool, children learn how to learn. Through play and interactions with their peers, Catholic preschool students acquire the foundational skills necessary for success in life:  This is especially true for archdiocesan preschools, which are part of the elementary school and they learn the value of education.  Our children learn socialization; cooperation; respect; resilience, patience; confidence, service to others; acceptance of differences; delayed gratification; executive function - all skills necessary for success in later years.   

In early childhood education, in-person learning is essential because it allows young children to interact with hands-on materials in the classroom not found at home and with each other.  In-person learning also provides a balanced schedule that includes group activities, self-choice or unstructured play, quiet time, meals/snacks, rest and active play outdoors. 

Most importantly, when a child is in school, they are taught, assessed, supervised and cared for by a licensed teacher and qualified assistant.

Young children have an intrinsic love of learning that is fostered and developed in an early childhood classroom.  There is no substitute for in-person learning.  For young children to receive the true value of early childhood education and be ready for kindergarten, they need to be in the classroom with their peers.

Catholic Preschools Meet High Standards and Offer Flexibility

Our early childhood programs ensure Illinois State Board of Education Early Learning & Development Standards are met by licensed teachers.

All Archdiocese of Chicago elementary schools offer preschool and many have a variety of schedules – full day, half day, five days a week, two or three days a week, morning groups and/or afternoon groups.

Contact Julie Ramski, Director of Early Childhood Education, Office of Catholic Schools, [email protected] or 312.534.3868 with any questions.

Click here for a guide to help you find the right school for your family.

Click here to find a Catholic school preschool or early childhood program near you.