Each day families make important decisions about their day – and competing priorities can sometimes make families feel conflicted about their choices. Choosing more time at work can mean more time away from family, and choosing to increase your child’s days in childcare can sometimes be emotional for families.
But reassuringly, research and experts suggest that high-quality care and education actually offers significant benefits for children. At childcare, babies, toddlers and preschoolers are offered development opportunities, the chance to learn about the world, and develop socially, emotionally and develop a lifelong love of learning.
“Research tells us that children who attend high-quality early learning programs have better outcomes in school and later in life than children who do not,” says Simone Myskiw, Curriculum Mentor at Guardian Childcare & Education.
“In fact, the Australian Government suggests that between 10 and 15 hours of early learning a week optimises these outcomes. So, sending your child for one day a week has less benefit than sending them more often.
“With frequent exposure to a high-quality childcare setting gives children greater structure, routine and a feeling of safety and security as they know what to expect. This paves the way for greater developmental and learning outcomes than if they are to attend only on a casual or ad hoc basis.”
With this in mind, Simone shares the benefits of sending your child to a high- quality childcare…
High-quality childcare gives children the chance to build on their emotional development, as the nurture provided in care helps create trusting relationships with people in the community, outside of a child’s immediate family, as well as with their peers. “An important factor when building a child’s emotional resilience is ensuring your child feels safe and cared for in their environment,” says Simone.
“The benefit of sending your child to a high-quality childcare is they are interacting with skilled teachers and educators who know how to nurture your child and develop their emotional skills and encourage engagement with other children as well as the world around them.”
Developing Important Social Skills and Independence
When is social development best practiced? When surrounded by a group of peers! Play dates are great but childcare allows for interactions with children
of different ages, ranging from 0 to five years, as well as adults in the form of teachers, educators, on-site cooks and other staff.
“By mixing with an array of people, your child will learn how to interact with others, share, play and problem-solve – all essential skills needed for life,” says Simone.
“Children love to feel useful, and naturally have a desire to please others. The childcare experience exposes your child to new tasks and self-care opportunities. This might be learning to feed themself, toileting, setting a table, or learning to take their shoes on and off. They will also have the opportunity to help and encourage their peers with similar experiences. This builds a great sense of self-worth, pride and increased independence – and they learn how to form bonds with others that will serve them for years to come.”
Preparing your Child for Primary School
Your child’s first major educational milestone is the transition from childcare to primary school. A high-quality childcare with a preschool and kindergarten program, such as the one offered at Guardian, is a great way to prepare your child for school.
“Guardian’s Preschool and Kindergarten Program focuses on open-ended, play-based experiences. Throughout the program, children learn numeracy and literacy skills through play, as well as build resilience and confidence through socialisation. We are also continually talking to our families, updating them on their child’s progress towards starting school, getting them ready or suggesting they might benefit from more time in the preschool environment,” says Simone.
There are many benefits to childcare, and there are even more benefits to sending your child multiple days a week.
“Attendance at childcare for more than one day a week supports children to get comfortable in the environment, particularly those who may be feeling anxious about separating from their family. As the environment becomes more familiar more quickly, children are able to settle and benefit from the many learning and developmental opportunities on offer,” says Simone.
“Children adapt to change more effectively when they have a chance to get used to new environments and experiences. By sending your child to childcare for multiple days – especially consecutive days – you are creating a routine and preparing them for formal schooling, where they will spend five full days a week out of home.”
Sparking Curiosity and a Love of Learning
Childcare provides children with the chance to develop their love of learning through play-based activities that mimic real-life scenarios and have real
learning outcomes. Make-believe activities such as pretending to visit the doctors, playing vet or going to the shops allow your child to practise their social skills and learn basic literacy and numeracy principles.
“Teachers and Educators at high-quality childcare centres are incredibly skilled at encouraging children to explore their interests, which then leads to sparking their imagination and effectively immersing them in the learning experience,” says Simone.
Expanding Language Skills
Did you know that your child’s vocabulary just about triples between the ages of three and five? One of the best and easiest ways to foster this is through exposure to language-rich environments such as childcare.
“A social environment along with exposure to other languages via Educators and teachers from different cultural backgrounds, and access to language learning through games, songs and other activities, all help to strengthen your child’s vocabulary and understanding,” says Simone.
“Children are strong, unique and resilient individuals, capable of complex thinking and their own perspectives, and the right childcare setting can give your child the opportunity to gain independence, build confidence and self-esteem, and learn about the world outside of themselves so they thrive and grow.”
To experience the Guardian difference, book a tour of your local centre today!