Programs that provide educational experiences and activities for children who are younger than compulsory school age, supplement parental care and home play and stimulate intellectual growth and motor skills development. Activities generally include preacademic skill development such as shape, colour and number recognition; active outdoor play; observation of nature and pets; dancing and rhythms; block building; playhouse activities; games; simple excursions outside the school; stories and picture books. Children are also given a nutritious snack and/or meal and a period for adequate rest, and are taught basic cleanliness and good health habits.
Programs sponsored by provinces, local municipalities or local nonprofits that prepare children, usually age three to five, to succeed in school. The programs are modelled on Head Start/Better Beginnings/Brighter Futures programs and are compensatory in nature targeting children from low income families or those who have or are at risk for a disability and who may have special needs. Services may include comprehensive development screenings, active learning, parent education programs, family activities, early literacy exercises, home visits and healthy snacks during the school day. In some instances, the programs are entirely home-based and focus on providing materials, instruction and support that enable the parent to prepare their child for entering school. Occasionally, the programs refer to short acclimatization sessions to make new pupils familiar with the school and classroom environment before the formal start of the school year. Some programs offer text messaging as a way to encourage parent participation in early education activities.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.