Child care today is so much more than a place to look after your child while you’re away at work or caught up with life. Child care introduces your child to so much more than what they see at home and today we’ve collated the five best reasons why it gives your child education for life.
- Play Based Learning
Who says learning can’t be fun? Today, there’s a nationally recognised education program for early education centres called the Early Years Learning Framework (or EYLF for short). The EYLF looks at putting your child front and centre by directing their own learning and having fun while they’re at it! Whether it’s deciding on what they’d like to draw with materials, colours, and ideas of their own, your child is the leader of their own creativity in early education.
- Natural Environments
We know that creating the best atmosphere for learning goes hand in hand with ensuring your child gets the best out of each day and that is why childcare environments are designed to be as natural as possible. Earthly woods, refreshing greens, and nature should be at the essence of the all learning environments. Being a part of a natural learning environment helps children feel connected to the natural world and learn about how their activities can impact the outdoor space. Digging holes for example shows children that when they remove earth from the ground, they’re reshaping their environment and learning opportunities can spring up here about conservation, planting trees inside holes, and how buildings get made. Outdoor learning environments also encourage exploration by mere sight alone as climbing trees, collecting sticks, splashing in puddles, and laying in the grass are activities some of us look back on fondly from when we were children.
- Community Involvement
Childcare centres can sometimes play a role in their local community both through incursions and excursions. Sometimes your child can even get a chance to shape their local community by helping raise money for local charity events, or invite members of the community to show off what makes them special. Librarians, actors, singers, dancers, emergency service men and women often visit children in care and this gives them a fantastic opportunity to learn about the wider community and the people who work together to make it happen.
Open discussions happen frequently and sometimes something as simple as recycling a bottle of milk might encourage more sustainability in the centre. Before long, excursions to recycling plants and getting stuck into events like Clean Up Australia Day form part of your child’s day all because someone asked where bottles go when you throw them out. Early education is all about seizing a child’s interests and working lessons around their curiosity.
- Social Engagement
Australia is a melting pot for people from all around the world. At childcare, children are constantly surrounded by children of their own age as well as being introduced to other children both older and younger to help them develop a sense of self and emotional responsiveness to others. Older children learn to be quiet around those dozing in the nursery; younger children learn to look up to the pre-Kindy children who are already experimenting with painting and developing fine motor skills like writing.
- Cultural Competence
As JK Rowling once wrote, “though we may come from different places and speak in different tongues, our hearts still beat as one”. Early education provides the perfect environment to meet and interact with various children from different backgrounds and learn to appreciate what makes us alike as well as what makes us unique. Children in early education get to experience cultural days like the Diwali Indian Festival of Light, learn languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, and Samoan, and so much more! We value multiculturalism and that is why we weave it into many things that we do. Developing their own sense of self gives children an understanding of their own culture as well as get a taste for what treasures exist around the world.
No two days in early education are the same and therein lies the beauty of childcare. Your child’s brain is like a sponge, constantly soaking up all the information it can find. A childcare centre is full of interesting people from all around the city, state, or even the world who each have their own story to tell. Children get to learn from and interact with each other in a natural environment that promotes curiosity while encouraged to have fun along the way. Children are constantly learning new things, meeting new people and all the while developing a better sense of who they are. These skills help deliver the best start in life and, in turn, help create a better future for the children and their wider community.