hero image

Taking your child to preschool is a smart move according to a recent study, especially if you want to foster superior social and emotional skills in your child later in their life. However, this might only apply to some preschools.

Penn State University researchers conducted a study on the impact of a preschool enrichment program called Research-based, Developmentally Informed (REDI) which was developed at the same university.  They discovered that children who attend preschools that implement the REDI program had better social and emotional skills than children who attended non-REDI preschools.

The researchers also found that children who went through the REDI program are less likely to develop problematic relationships with peers or exhibit behavioral problems. They are also less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety by the time they get to the 7th and 9th grade. Karen Bierman, a Psychology professor at Penn State was pleased with the discovery that the program continued to show its benefits in students, years after preschool.

“The program had an effect on internal benefits, including better emotion management and emotional well-being, as well as external benefits, such as reduced conduct problems,” stated Professor Bierman.

The professor also acknowledged the additional benefits of the program. One of the main advantages was that REDI children were less distressed when they became adolescents compared to their peers who did not go through the same program. Their teachers also benefited because the children were less troublesome. The program also underscores the advantages of strategic intervention programs such as the REDI program, and the need to implement them early.

The benefits of REDI program preschools in children from poor backgrounds

The researchers also assessed the impact of the REDI program on children who come from poor families. Such children tend to start school later than their counterparts from wealthier backgrounds and are often at the back of the class. They are also slower in developing social skills. If the children from poor backgrounds are taken through a REDI preschool, they have a chance at not being on par with those from well-off families.

The REDI program cultivates skills such as emotional awareness, how to make friends, conflict management and generally how to get along with other children. It instills important social coping skills that children can apply at later stages in their lives.