Here at The Meadows Early Learning Center, we operate our preschool classroom as a mixed age group of children from ages three until they leave for kindergarten. We find this to be a wonderful way to help children learn from one another. The older children in the classroom begin to learn sensitivity, empathy, and leadership skills by interacting with younger children, while the younger children in the classroom strive to do more to keep up with peers and often begin to progress above age level.
As older children in the classroom learn more about problem-solving and conflict resolution, this is modeled for the younger children. This greatly encourages the social/emotional connection that children need to develop in their early years.
Another benefit of a mixed age group preschool is the flexibility to meet a child where they are at and help them develop at their own pace. By having a large group of children of different ages, teachers are better equipped to make curriculum changes that cater to the needs of the children in their classroom rather than the age group of their classroom.