From time to time, I get requests to post things like articles or notifications on my blog. It’s my policy not to publish those types of posts unless I feel that they will benefit the people that read my blog, or if I feel strongly about the subject.
A couple weeks ago, Emily Patterson from Primrose Schools sent me an email and asked if I would be willing to take a look at an article she co-wrote, regarding Early Childhood Education. She felt it was a good fit for my blog, seeing as my boys have both attended center-based childcare. I read her article, and I agreed. The following is the article I agreed to post.
Early Childhood Education – More Than Daycare
If you are a single parent who must hold down a job in order to provide for a family, it goes without saying that when it comes to toddlers and pre-schoolers especially, quality daycare is a necessity. But is it enough?
While there are obvious benefits of having someone watch your child if possible, or if you are fortunate to stay at home with them, your child may be missing some important opportunities for intellectual growth. Their physical needs for nourishment and protection are certainly being met, and there may be some socialization that occurs in a typical child care center, but many of them neglect learning activities that can stimulate cognitive function and give the child a firm foundation for furthering his/her education later in life.
It Starts On Day One
What happens to a child between birth and age five has a tremendous impact on how well they will do in school later on.
Believe it or not, a child may start learning before he or she is even born, and research has shown this to be true! During the last trimester, the child may benefit from exposure to certain types of music as well as speech. The human brain undergoes rapid growth and development during a child’s early preschool years; At this stage of a child’s life, s/he develops his/her basic language skills, a sense of self, his/her place in the group and the role of culture – all the basic tools required to function in a given society.
In short, the preschool years are those in which an elastic, malleable brain is “hardwired.”
Even just one year of attendance in a certified child care facility can be beneficial. Young children have opportunities for cognitive development through age-appropriate learning activities (such as educational games and other forms of constructive play) gives a child a tremendous advantage when they enter kindergarten. Such children have superior skills in reading, writing and speaking and mathematics – which are the foundation of every other subject. In addition, children with a year or more of academic preschool have better social skills and are able to function better in a group setting. The effects of a quality preschool education will last a lifetime – and make it far more likely that the child will succeed as an adult in a Darwinian economic and social system in which every person is for him or herself and the only rule is “survival of the fittest.”