What Does The Future Of The Preschool Industry Look Like?

An entrepreneur and an Ivy League graduate, Durairaj has worked in industries spanning consumer goods, food services, biotech, healthcare, infrastructure development, mining, transportation in strategic and financial advisory roles to the CXOs. He is currently an advisor to Startup Community in Chennai and Bangalore.

The Indian preschool market catering to children between 2 and 6 years is subjected to grow at a CAGR of about 12% during and post COVID times. Being one of the few industries to have gained a positive outcome during a global crisis, the preschool market has seen a surge in demand due to many reasons.

Over the years, parents have become aware of the importance of early education and personal development. This is also because the first six years of a child's life is crucial for developing sensory, motor, cognitive, and social skills. Even the increasing personal disposable income and marginal propensity to consume among Indian parents have given them an edge to increase expenditure towards their education. Moreover, with both parents being working professionals fiddling between personal and professional life, they rely on the education system to ensure their child's growth is not hampered. Another reason for its wider acceptance in the recent past is that preschool training affects a kid's future and their family's future as well. Thus, this makes preschools a vital piece of a youngster's schooling.

EdTech advancement in the preschool industry has brought a revolution with `activity boxes' that are invigorating and engaging as well as are best fitted for children aged between 2 to 8

As indicated by market analysis, the impact of different EdTech organizations and global preschools in India has prompted a significant change in the instructive educational plan. These establishments follow a Westernized framework increasing the demand for a mixed learning environment. The extent of preschool education is huge enough as it is viewed as one of the recession-proof enterprises.

EdTech advancement in the preschool industry has brought a revolution with `activity boxes' that are invigorating and engaging as well as are best fitted for children aged between 2 to 8. These exercises kits help children spend their formative years in a controlled yet interactive environment and satisfy their requirement for information across multiple zones. They can address a heap of early development issues as well as are safe, age-specific, play-based, instructive and fun. What they likewise do is something that most parents find difficult to ­ assist their young ones in overcoming the challenges of growing, centre around the major developmental aspects and help them breeze through their young age.

While this seems to be a new approach, there's more that can be expected in the next couple of years especially with the onslaught of the pandemic.

The Future of the Preschool Industry is Phygital
At the point when industry leaders are concerned about the future of education, innovation has made it easier to create learning possibilities at the touch of our finger. Today, children can watch a lion in natural surroundings with artificial intelligence, as opposed to reading about it in a textbook. They can interact with letters and words by moving them around the screen and hear how phonetics work.

However, preschool education cannot entirely be "Digital". While school-going children are trying to adapt to online education, it is neither recommended nor viable for children below 6 years to have the learning delivered completely online. Being the most important stage where maximum brain development occurs, too much screen time can be detrimental to a child's overall well-being. Furthermore, it is not in a 2-year-old's or 4-year-old's nature to sit idle in front of a screen. Preschool children need to explore, use their senses, and engage with different materials to gain skills for the future. But with preschools closed, and child safety of topmost priority, what can preschool children turn to?

This is where "Phygital" education comes into play. `Phygital' which blends both online and hands-on sensorial learning, works the best with regards to upgrading the education industry. Phygital schooling ensures that children receive at-home learning that is viable, convenient and suitable for their development. Especially during the pandemic, "Phygital" is the way forward!

The Future of the Preschool Industry is Flexible
The preschool industry is getting more flexible and responsive to the different needs of children and their parents. As personal disposable income and marginal propensity to consume among Indian parents increases, along with equal participation of both parents in the workforce, there has been a surge in demand for flexibility in the childcare sector. Today parents work certain days a week or work from home until late into the night or are on shift duties that require extended hours, thus, needing an early learning program that suits their lifestyle and requirements in the best possible manner.

A year has passed and there are no indications of the pandemic dying down at any point soon. Be it at home, in a classroom, in front of a screen or from an activity box, it has become a need of the hour that all potential methodologies be utilized to create a better preschool system that best suits parents as well as the children.