I recently recommended to close friends that they only send their child to pre-school (or kindergarten) if they are sure that no attempts will be made to formally educate their child. I also suggested that if they decide to send their daughter, they should select one that emphasizes play, and hands-on activities (such as Montessori).
Why did I do this?
This is a brief review of the relevant research evidence which overwhelmingly supports a later start to formal education. This evidence relates to the contribution of playful experiences to children’s development as learners, and the consequences of starting formal learning at the age of four to five years of age
There are several strands of evidence which all point towards the importance of play in young children’s development, and the value of an extended period of playful learning before the start of formal schooling. School starting age: the evidence
It is unusual for any researcher to describe research results as overwhelming.
Therefore, the first (recommended) decision is to delay formal learning. The second (recommended) decision is maximize opportunities for playful learning.