Kinder is an important step for every child, as it lays the foundations for school and instils a love of learning. In 2018, an independent report explained how kinder sets up children for success and identified that children would benefit from two years of structured kindergarten. In 2022, Victorian families can enrol in three-year-old kindergarten, and we are encouraging everyone to take up this opportunity.
Here is why two years of kinder starting at age three is so important to your child’s formative education.
The Benefits of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten
1. Structured Play-based learning encourages development
Play-based learning is a holistic approach that encourages exploration, curiosity, risk-taking and critical thinking. When implemented in childcare, children develop a love for learning and are more engaged in the activities. Play-based learning can take form in physical activities, excursions, art projects, made-up games and much more. In this form of learning, children develop and harness necessary skills in a natural and controlled environment. Three-year-old kindergarten utilises structured play-based learning (such as Reggio Emilia) to help children develop independence, confidence, social skills and empathy which are critical to their development.
2. Optimal and Enhanced Development
Three-year-old kindergarten provides children with more opportunities to develop their skills. Research has shown that if children start kinder earlier, they are more likely to understand rules, engage in language development and utilise reflective practices when presented with new problems. With two years of kindergarten, children will reach the Early Years Learning Framework milestones more confidently and retain the practices for future use.
3. Two years are better than one
With more time to learn, children are less likely to be vulnerable or at-risk when put into formal education. In one of the independent reports presented to the Victorian Government, two years of kindergarten had “substantial and sustained impacts on children’s learning, development and wellbeing.” They were more engaged in the activities but had better self-regulation skills and had a positive attitude towards learning. By developing these skills earlier, children progressed much quicker and were likely to be ahead of their peers by fourth grade.
Three-year-old kinder is also one of the first structured educational environments a child engages in. By providing them with this positive experience early on, children are less likely to fall behind, and this is particularly important for families in low socio-economic areas as it provides every child with a level playing field and the same learning opportunities and experiences.
4. Tailored to your child
Three-year-old kinder is all about enhancing skills and developing new ones. It is facilitated by a qualified teacher and is tailored to meet the child’s needs. Our teachers identify social, cognitive and language skills that need to be developed and plan activities and lessons for our children to participate in. When facilitated by their interests, it has provided children with unique experiences such as learning Chinese at daycare or taking care of guinea pigs.
At Child’s Play ELC, we believe that by exploring their interests and providing them with safe learning environments to take risks, they can develop a love for learning that they will apply in the future.
5. They are school ready.
With three-year-old kinder, our children feel more supported and confident in their skills moving forward. Three-year-old kinder is about introducing skills earlier so that in four-year-old kinder programs, we can focus on structure and social aspects that mimic the relationships they may develop in a school environment. At Child’s Play ELC, we have previously seen great success with our pre-kinder programs and look forward to continuing to enhance your child’s school readiness with three-year-old kinder.
Why enrol in a Long Day Care Centre instead of a government-run program?
Three-year-old kinder is a fully-funded government program that provides five hours a week of kindergarten run by a Bachelor-qualified teacher. For working families it is ideal for this program to be run within a long daycare centre, like Child’s Play ELC, as it means their children can receive the full kindergarten program and they can drop off and pick up their children when they need to. This is particularly difficult for these families in a government-run program as often the program runs one day a week from 9 am to 2 pm.
It is also ideal for the children as they can spend up to forty hours a week engaging with other children their own age, which encourages further development of social skills, empathy and risk-taking behaviour. It is also prepares them for the length of the full primary school day. In the last couple of years, we know that young children have been adversely affected and will lack some necessary social skills. By attending three-year-old kindergarten at a long daycare centre, we can combat these issues and ensure they are completely ready for school when they turn five.
At Child’s Play ELC, you also can contact the teacher directly with any comments, questions or concerns using the OWNA app, which enables greater transparency about the program and encourages parents to collaborate and continue the education at home.
Three-Year-Old Kinder now in action!
Our three-year-old kinder programs have already kicked off in 2022. If you want to secure your spot in our Tarneit or Torquay centres, get in touch with our educators or book a tour today! We look forward to seeing you in our centre very soon.