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When Do Kids Start Preschool?

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Quick Answer

Preschool programs typically begin at around age 2 1/2. Preschools often have age-specific classes and curriculum that sometimes includes kindergarten. A preschool program is a skills-training and academic development experience for toddlers to prepare them for elementary school education.

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The terms "daycare center" and "preschool" are often used interchangeably. However, a daycare center primarily focuses on providing safe care and supervision of children. A preschool follows a specific curriculum and offers age-appropriate learning experiences for clients. Some parents think of preschool as beginning at age 4, because some states have pre-K classes connected to public schools. States sometimes subsidize some or all of the costs of preschools for 4-year-olds.

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