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Early childhood is an important developmental period for children as they learn and acquire skills that will eventually aid them in school. It is also a time that marks great variability in the children’s experiences because some children stay at home with their families, others attend private child care programs, and some attend public preschool programs such as state-funded programs or the federally funded Head Start. Across these sites, children’s experiences often correspond simply because of their similarity in ages and general developmental modicums. However, depending upon the means through which they are educated on a daily basis, children do have unique experiences. This entry focuses specifically on preschool, examining how the term has come to be defined, the history of preschool programs, and ...

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