Children learn more during their first 5 years than at any other time of their life, meaning that a child’s early years are literally the foundation for their future development. Those years give them a strong base for lifelong learning capabilities and social development, not to mention physical, social, and emotional growth. In this article, we’ll look at the importance of early childhood education and what to look for in finding the right one for them.
The building blocks
Many studies have shown that early childhood experiences, from birth to age 8, have a significantly positive effect on the development of the brain’s architecture, which provides the structure for a child’s future learning, as well as their social and emotional functions. This means that early learning is actually helping children develop the skills they need to become well-functioning adults.
In addition to the educational side of early learning, another interesting fact is that the positive experiences that children have early in their lives play a crucial role in the development of their brain function as well. That’s why early learning is such an amazing tool for growth, because the kind of exposure to stable and responsive relationships and the safe and supportive environment promotes positivity and encourages development in children.
Main areas of development
The importance of early childhood education can’t be overstated. These are the foundational areas you can expect to see the most growth in, when your child attends an early learning facility –
A love of learning
One of the most important things early learning centres impart into children is a lifelong love of learning. Here, children are encouraged to ask ‘why’, explore things together and learn more about the world around them as a group – all in an environment that feels safe for them to do so. A child who has been inspired to learn will carry that love for new information with them to high school, university and into adulthood.
Children inherently need to understand the world around them and how everything works. The development they experience at early learning centres builds the foundation for them to learn more intricate concepts including counting, sorting, and problem-solving skills that will help them later in life with things like maths and science.
Self-confidence and self control
Early learning centres build a sense of belief in children and help them begin to believe in themselves. This makes a more confident child, who is more willing to take calculated risks and challenge themselves. This self-confidence is a large part of the skill they need to navigate social challenges, and understand concepts like sharing and competition between other children.
The importance of early childhood education reaches into the area of self-control as well. Children learn how to manage the way they feel in the context of the group and how best to communicate what they need. This gives a child the ability to express and manage their emotions, work with others and understand their own feelings.
Language and literacy
A large part of learning begins with speaking. Children rely on speaking for a significant part of their learning process after the age of 6, making the language phase incredibly important. Early learning centres begin that language learning process, helping children communicate through gestures, sounds, and eventually words.
Because early learning centres bring children together, they are encouraged to engage and interact which helps them develop social skills, essential to forming healthy relationships with other people later in life. Here, they will learn how to get along with other children, share, take turns to listen to other children and communicate their ideas. Their early learning centre becomes the space where they establish their independence as a person. This growth is vital to your child being able to cope with their emotions, the emotions of others and not feeling overwhelmed in difficult or highly emotional situations.
Early learning centres rely heavily on a daily routine, which helps children feel safe and secure because they can begin to expect what’s going to happen next in their daily lives. Early learning instils healthy habits like washing their hands, putting sunscreen on, and taking their plate or bowl to the kitchen or clean up area. These every day habits help to settle children and usually even result in them having good sleeping habits.
Let the learning begin
Early learning centres play an incredibly important role in the lives of children. In fact, the educators are often a child’s first teachers outside of home. This is why choosing the right early learning centre for your child is so important.
At Child’s Play, we understand the importance of early childhood education. We provide children with real-world experiences, new opportunities, challenges and a positive environment for them to grow into confident, caring individuals. We’ve created a place where children feel loved, nurtured and safe outside of their home.
Our educators focus on building your children’s social skills, by using fun and engaging learning styles. They also inspire, encourage, and promote children’s learning while nurturing children’s sense of belonging. To get your little one started on their growth journey, get in touch with us today.