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Why is Early Childhood Learning and Development so important?

A child’s preschool years are an important time frame in the foundation for all that is to come in their educational career. These are the years to provide essential building blocks for his or her future growth, providing a strong base for lifelong learning and learning abilities, that include critical skills such as cognitive and social development.

At Prescott Unified School District’s Discovery Gardens Early Childhood Centers the staff and parents are working together to help foster developmentally appropriate learning with positive social emotional learning experiences. Together we are creating ways to support our young learners so that they are confident and ready to learn in elementary school.

Each week Discovery Gardens is posting a Choice board that is full of developmentally appropriate ideas to do with objects at home for anyone to use and share. These lesson plans are written for parents and are created to reach the “Whole Child”  development of all areas of growth and development:  social, emotional, cognitive/academics and fine and large motor development. These plans are located on Prescott Unified’s website and available free to ALL families in the area.

Lanette Merkt, a preschool teacher at Discovery Gardens, helps to create these online ideas for parents and she says, “the importance of the early learning curriculum that we are using at this time of home based learning is very similar to what we use in the preschool classroom. We are using a themed based curriculum that is relevant, interesting, flexible, adaptable, accessible, and fun for the children..

Now is the time to be thinking of enrollment for your child into preschool for next year. At Discovery Gardens, we have 4 high quality sites; Discovery Gardens at Washington School, Taylor Hicks Elementary School, Abia Judd Elementary School, and Lincoln Elementary School. All offer Preschool and PreK experiences and flexible schedules to meet the needs of the families that include anything from three days of preschool up to five full days with early and late pickups in our daycare.  Scholarships are also available to families that qualify on each of our four sites: You can enroll online for Preschool and PreK at

Now is also the time to enroll your 5-year old child into Kindergarten. PUSD’s elementary school have certified, highly-qualified teachers who specialize in early childhood learning. Enroll for Kindergarten at

Article written by Stacy Williams, Director of PUSD Discovery Gardens Early Childhood Center

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