The term kindergarten which literally means a children’s garden is used to describe a child’s pre-school education approach that acquaints the child to formal education. It entails practical activities such as singing, playing, and drawing, while incorporating social interaction. Kindergarten, therefore, connotes any form of educational institution that uses these teaching methods to children of the ages between 2 and 7. This becomes fundamental in helping children to adopt to the changes of attending school and being away from home as it is their norm.


The history of kindergartens is long running, right from the eighteenth century when the first forms of kindergarten appeared in Strasbourg and Bavaria. The term itself was first used by Friedrich Fröbel, who has greatly influenced the development of early child education in the world.


Historical Development Of Kindergartens


Louise Scheppler and Johann Friedrich in the year 1779 establish a caring center for children not eligible to formerly start school in Strasbourg. The establishment aimed at caring for children for parents who were away due to work commitments during the day. A year later (1780) in Bavaria, Pauline Zur Lippe established a similar pre-school center to care for younger children in Detmold. These are the earliest forms of kindergarten institution known.


Robert Owen in 1816 created the first form of kindergarten institution in Britain in New Lanark, Scotland. Being a philosopher, it was his believe that children ought to have been given good moral education and upbringing right from their infancy. Additionally, he also wanted to produce individuals that were fit for work. In many regards, he was successful as his system produced obedient children who had basic numeracy and literacy.


In 1819, an infant school was established in London by Samuel Wilderspin. In the following years, he went on to establish more of such institutions. More importantly, Wilderspin published a lot of material on the subject matter of early child’s education. His work and model become the template for all other infant institutions to follow in Britain. A distinct element of his model is the emphasis on child’s play, which was very much apparent in all his institutions. He is thus credited with the prominence of playgrounds in schools. He also vehemently advocated for infant education of the poor as seen in his book – Importance of Educating the Infant Poor as well as seen in his work with Infant School Society. Other significant works of Wilderspin include the publication “The infant system for the developing the physical, intellectual and moral power of all children from 1 to 7 years of age”.


Spread Of Kindergarten Schools


Countess Theresa Brunszvik having been influenced by Heinrich opened an Angyalkert (Hungarian for “angel’s garden”) in 1828 in her place of residence. She, in 1836, established an institution for the establishment of pre-schools, which made them popular in Hungary among the nobility and the middle class.


Friedrich Fröbel opened up an experimental center for children’s play and other activities in Bad Blankenburg in the Thuringia. He later renamed it kindergarten stemming from his belief that just “like plants in a garden”, children needed be natured and nourished. He also trained women who went on to open similar kindergartens throughout Europe.


In the U.S, the first kindergarten was established in 1860 by Elizabeth Peabody. In 1870, Conrad Poppenhusen, a German industrialist and philanthropist established the first free kindergarten. 1873 saw the establishment of the first publicly funded kindergarten by Susan Blow in St. Louis.


In Canada, the first private kindergarten school was opened in 1870 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by Wesleyan Methodist 1882, the first public school kindergarten was opened in Berlin. A department of kindergarten teaching was opened in Toronto Normal School.


The National College of Education was established in 1886 through the efforts of Elizabeth Harrison, who had published extensively on the early childhood education. She also worked to enhance the quality of kindergarten teachers.


Modern Era Kindergarten


Kindergartens form the part of the K-12 education system in the United States. Kindergarten schools have grown in importance to the point that they are considered the first year of elementary education and the commencement of formal education. This is a huge contrast to the days when it was considered a separate elementary program. The age bracket for commencing kindergarten is 5-6 years and is usually attended for a year.


In some states, kindergarten education is compulsory, especially where the compulsory age to begin one’s education is 6, 7, or 8 (in two states). In 43 states, it is a requirement for the schools districts to offer one kindergarten year. Children can enroll to Waldorf and Montessori as early as 3 or 4 years and stay there for an extended period in the play-oriented and activities-oriented program.


Elements Of Kindergarten Education


Kindergarten education mostly entails acquainting the children to the learning environment. In most schools, the children the program is divided to 2 hours of language learning, one and half hours of learning maths. At the end of the kindergarten year, the children are supposed to be able to identify and more importantly write numbers from 1 to 20, as well as count item up to 20, know letter sound, know names of letters (all letter as well as their casing – upper case and lower case) and know how to subtract numbers one all the way through ten.


If you are looking for unique kindergarten in Paramus, come check out EMMA Day Care. We will help your child to explore his talents.