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February 16, 2022 / Blog

Preschool Prep Elements that Determine Future Success

Comprehensive preschool prep is crucial for a child’s future academic success. This critical time in their development requires more than skills and knowledge learning. Pre-K programs must focus on social-emotional development along with cognitive learning to prepare children for school – and life.

Learning happens when children are able to understand and control their emotions and behaviors. Without control, they cannot listen or pay attention to instruction. This social-emotional development must be a priority in the pre-K environment and in preschool prep to ensure school readiness.

7 Essential Preschool Prep Elements

Children must have social and emotional intelligence as well as strong academic skills to reach their full potential in life. Teachers must focus on these seven elements to ensure school readiness:

  • Confidence
  • Curiosity
  • Intentionality
  • Self-Control
  • Relationships
  • Cooperation
  • Communication


“a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something” – Merriam-Webster

Confidence enables children to independently make choices, problem-solve, identify and overcome challenges, and have a strong and positive sense of self.


“the desire to learn or know more about something or someone” – Merriam-Webster

Curiosity enables children to learn cause and effect, demonstrate awe and interest in the world around them, and use their imagination to seek answers and solve problems.


“a characteristic of an individual’s acts that requires the individual (a) to have goals, desires, and standards; (b) to select behaviors that are in the service of attaining the goal (e.g., means to an end); and (c) to call into conscious awareness a desired future state” – APA Dictionary of Psychology

Intentionality enables children to consider and make thoughtful choices, finish work with persistence and determination, and act with confidence.


“restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires” – Merriam-Webster

Self-control enables children to stay calm and productive in stressful situations, express their emotions appropriately, and respect boundaries and the feelings of others.

Relationships (Relating to Others)

“to understand and like or have sympathy for others” – Merriam-Webster

Relating to others enables children to cooperate in groups, understand social cues, think creatively, and deal with conflicts.

Cooperation (Cooperativeness)

“a willingness and ability to work with others” – Merriam-Webster

Cooperativeness enables children to help their peers, make friends, share willingly, and work as a team or group.


“the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else” – Merriam-Webster

Having the capacity to communicate enables children to express their thoughts and ideas clearly, participate in group discussion and social greetings, and gain trust.

The elements of preschool prep success

Addressing these seven elements in preschool prep will lay the foundation for children’s later success in school and their future roles in society. Children who are confident, curious, intentional, self-controlled, relatable, cooperative, and communicative have the essential elements for success.


This blog references research by Frog Street’s Senior Author of Curriculum, Pam Schiller. Her book on this subject is: Schiller, Pamela Byrne. Seven Skills for School Success: Activities to Develop Social & Emotional Intelligence in Young Children. Gryphon House, 2009.