Your perfect baby is growing faster than you can blink and, here it is, time to enrol them in childcare/preschool. Or had you not thought seriously about it?
Quality early learning (childcare/Preschool) has been proven, via multiple studies, to establish and deepen your child’s development base via physical and mental stimulation, social-emotional skills advancement and many other compounding skills they’ll need in the future.
The development you can expect from quality early learning (childcare/preschool) programs can be grouped into five categories; physical, social, emotional, language/literacy, and cognitive skills development.
Each activity your child undertakes is planned, observed and reported on. Strengths are encouraged, and weaknesses are supported, and confidence is generally built. Creativity is fostered (strategy), hand-eye coordination (confidence) and 3D perception (geometry) are developed.
Equally important, they learn social skills, which they will need for primary school.
Fine and gross motor skills development are essential confidence-building blocks, from playground high jinks to tracing geometric shapes.
Children under the age of five need plenty of physical activity daily, whereas they may be placed in front of TVs at home. An early learning (childcare/preschool) environment keeps them actively engaged both mentally and physically.
Quality early learning at Childcare/Preschool is usually the first time a child has a recurring group of similarly aged children. Their experience will be opened to self-control, sharing, manners, conflict resolution and respect.
Even playing pretend is part of social development as children learn by doing
Empathy is also developed, so they start considering other’s opinions and feelings and learn about various points of view of a particular situation.
They learn to name emotions which assists in clear communication and significantly reduces frustration. This deepens their empathy as well. They are also guided through age-appropriate conflict resolution and are introduced to considering the repercussions of their actions.
Language and Literacy Development
If you’ve ever looked at a list of things children should know before starting formal schooling, you’ve probably noticed a lot of literacy-based skills. By the end of age four, children should identify the alphabet, write their names, and speak clear sentences. Going through early learning development makes it so much easier for them to achieve this milestone.
Critical thinking skills are encouraged by talking through problems and finding solutions, and constant questioning (sorry, parents). This is the child’s autodidact methodology. An inquisitive child is a learning child.
Cognitive skills are also developed via “compare and contrast”, all through play and fun.
The School Choice
This is an important foundational phase for your child, so the choices you make are important. Use these pointers to help with making the choice:
List – write up a “Must-Have” list, e.g. a structured day or a play-based program? If a set schedule is attractive, how formal? Are meals part of the offering? Music, dance, sport, martial arts or none of these needed?
Reviews – Get reviews from current or past parents.
Staff – Ask to see a list of staff, employees and their qualifications.
Budget – Have a budget in mind and perhaps filter all the options with this first. Be reasonable in your budget expectations. If you qualify for government assistance.
Security – Take note of the school’s approach to security. Is access controlled? Is there a check-in/check-out system?
The Learning Journey
It is a big step for parents to start leaving their gorgeous, precious bundles of joy with strangers. It is a tiny loosening of the “apron strings”, so to speak, which can be very uncomfortable. A big part of parenting enjoyment is knowing that you are wholly needed by this precious little human.
However, it is also very important that you take that step and give your child the benefit of quality early learning childcare/preschool. The benefits weight heavily in favour. Enrolling your child will enhance their lives in ways you did not expect. You will be overjoyed when they come back brimming with energy, eyes sparkling and new wonderful achievement to show you.
You are setting out a solid, priceless foundation for them that stand them in good stead for the rest of their learning lives. Our next blog will look at Harvard studies on the benefits of quality early childhood education. Watch this space!
If you have any questions, please contact us, and we will be delighted to answer them for you.