Childhood education begins much earlier than school. From the minute our children are born, they gradually begin learning and developing all the tools they will use throughout their lives from something as simple as reaching for and grabbing objects, to the emotional maturity and social skills they’ll use every day. The most development and change will occur in the first 5 years of a child’s life.
Structured childcare programs are an important springboard for early childhood development and providing the right environment and guidance for our little learners through carefully considered planning and strategic approaches.
Here’s a list of some of the how they can benefit your child.
Learning time and time management
The concept of time and how we manage it becomes more and more important as we get older. It filters through to getting up and ready for school on time, going to our first job interview, catching transport… you name it!
Structured childcare programs introduce young children to time schedules and management through things such as developmental activities, eating and sleeping times, and other activities, we generally encourage and support flexible room routines. The routines and expectations gradually change and evolve as the child gets older and developmentally is expected to do more.
Routines are extremely important to children. They provide structure, a sense of security in normality, and comfort in knowing what to expect. Establishing healthy daily routines for children is no easy task, which is where childcare programs can play a key role.
Structured childcare programs are exactly that – structured. They help your child get used to establishing routines around eating, playing, sleeping and other activities which can significantly assist with at-home routines such as brushing their teeth and hair. This assists children into going into developing important healthy routine habits as they grow.
Learning to communicate
Communication starts in the very first moments of life and evolves into a complex system of how we connect with each other and make sense of the world. Early communication development will play a pivotal role for your child’s learning at every stage and set the foundations for their future.
Childcare programs are centred on the encouragement of healthy and positive communication tools for young children which fosters language development, creativity, and socialising. Children learn to express themselves clearly, build positive relationships with their educators and other children, and learn not only the skills for communicating, but also for listening.
Developing social skills and emotional maturity
Social interactions and the way children learn to deal with situations go hand in hand. Learning to treat other children with respect, kindness and consideration as well as being aware of their wants and needs will pave a path to their ability to positively adjust to new surroundings and social settings.
Structured childcare programs provide children with healthy and positive social interactions as well as guidance on how to accept, process and communicate their emotions and learn empathy. The variety of activities and settings facilitated by childcare programs give children exposure to different situations and help to prepare them for the transition into school.
Most children love the freedom that independence gives them to take charge of tasks and activities in their daily lives. In learning to do things such as putting their own jackets on or tying their shoelaces, they start to become empowered to do other key things independently such as going to the toilet or packing up toys. Learning independence also leads to children becoming more responsible for themselves and their belongings, and prepares them for the next challenge of school.
Early childhood education through structured programs plays a major role in the emotional and academic development of children, as well as in the preparation for their transition into schooling. They provide a platform for the development of foundational skills such as problem-solving, socialising, fine motor and sensory skills, and a positive approach to learning that will go on to benefit them as they grow.