If you’re worried that it’s too early to send your child to an early learning centre, you’ll be happy to learn that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. While there is the initial hurdle of how much you’ll miss your little ones when they go off to daycare for the first time, rest assured that this decision will benefit both you and your child immensely.
As for what age to send them, education can never start too early. Young minds – yes, even infants – are sponges of knowledge soaking up the world around them. In fact, 90% of brain development happens before the age of 5. This is why it is extra beneficial to place them in an environment that is dedicated to enriching their minds and furthering their development.
Rich learning environments
As much as every parent would like to ensure their child is only ever engaging in activities and hobbies that facilitate learning, it isn’t always easy to provide this environment at home. Parents do have lives that need to be lived and let’s face it, screens can get in the way of meaningful engagement. A child’s early years become the foundation of their development. How the brain grows before the age of 5 is highly influenced by a child’s environment and the people in it. This is why early learning centres such as Child’s Play are committed to providing rich and engaging education where children can play, learn and grow. Many studies have shown that children who participate in early learning not only develop faster, but are given solid neural building blocks to help grasp more complicated concepts later in life.
Learning to interact with others, especially those outside of the family, is crucial for building social and emotional confidence. Through group learning experiences and interactions, children develop a wide range of useful skills such as negotiating, communicating, empathy, cooperation, recognising boundaries, achieving tasks, sharing and more. Confidence building is also key to children wanting to express themselves, explore more new experiences and learn new things. Young children are naturally focused on themselves, so while learning interpersonal skills can prove to be a challenge, they will develop new skills simply by being in a peer environment. Socialisation skills are important in formative years not just for learning to foster positive relationships when they reach school but for encouraging healthy social choices in the long term.
Undiagnosed learning disabilities
In Australia, 1 in 10 people have a learning disability. Because they are so common, educators are able to tailor programs for children who have additional needs or learn in different ways. A considerable benefit of early childhood education is that experienced educators will be able to recognise learning disabilities as they present themselves. The majority of parents aren’t qualified in this field, so may not recognise the signs of a learning disability. Early childhood educators are trained to pick up on subtleties that may not be obvious to you or other family members. Naturally, the earlier a disability is recognised, the sooner that early childhood intervention can be of help. This specifically refers to therapies and support for children and their families in the early years, usually from ages one to five. Child’s Play ELC has worked with many children that have learning disabilities, and we can direct you to source extra help through various support networks. This could include extra-curricular activities, therapies and special education.
We are firm believers in unstructured play. All children, even the very little ones, have extremely active imaginations. Childhood educators understand that this is a form of curiosity that fosters learning. When young children are given the opportunity to explore their imaginations and be creative, there is a veritable rainbow of developmental benefits. Creativity is useful when problem solving, and problem solving is an essential element in cognitive development. Unstructured play also gives them the freedom to learn at their own pace without getting bored through over-scheduling. The other main benefit of unstructured play is of course, fun! Your children are still a while away from sitting in a classroom environment, so it’s important they get plenty of opportunities to act like children in every sense of the word. Given their own time to interact with the stimulating world of an early learning centre, they’ll also use up energy and get plenty of healthy exercise. After enough exertion, they might sleep better at night too, although we can’t quite promise that completely!
Ready to enrol?
We are now taking enrolments for all of our centres for the 2023 year. Please visit our enrolment page to register for the centre of your choice. Questions? Feel free to call our Torquay, Tarneit or Tarneit West facilities.