There exist several kinds of early childhood educational programs. In almost all countries, children begin their formal schooling at about age 6.
* Day-care programs are one form of schooling, and they exist primarily to provide child-care services for parents who work.
* Pre-schools are similar to day-care except that they are more likely to provide a planned program designed to help social and cognitive development in the young children. A key concept in pre-school education is “readiness” training. Readiness training is when students learn the skills that are supposed to prepare them for formal instruction later, such as how to follow directions, stick to a task, co-operate with others, and have good manners. They are also encouraged to develop positive self-concepts and improve their physical skills.
* Kindergarten programs are attended by most children the year before they enter the first grade. The main function of Kindergarten is similar to that of pre-school. Since pre-school has taken on a lot of the functions of kindergarten, kindergarten is becoming more focused on academics, such as reading and arithmetic and behaviours appropriate in school – lining up and raising hands.