Childcare 2020: That looming question for parents is “Can we afford childcare?”
The answer should always be ‘yes’. Childcare needs to be recognised as an equally vital part of education as it is from Prep to Year 12. Childcare needs to be properly considered as the foundations for securing a bright future. Why? The first five years of a child’s life is the most critical.
What kind of childcare learning benefits should parents be hearing from childcare educators to get them in the door?
Early childhood is the most critical time to build social, cognitive, emotional and cultural connections. A child’s brain develops up to 90 percent within those first five years—more than they ever will in their lifetime. This crucial window of cognitive growth is closed before children even reach formal school. Children who go through childcare then have a huge advantage when they reach Prep.
Qualified educators in Early Childhood understand the milestones of growth and can recognise through individualised learning how a child is progressing. A child’s learning progress can be measured by the length of time it takes to achieve a certain goal—academic, social or emotional. The biggest leap is from the three-year-old to four-year-old stage, where participating in more academic structures can be overwhelming on all aspects of the child.
Structure, routine and resilience
The focus of two and three-year-old programs are to lay the foundations of resilience and independence. Wellbeing, basic academics and a healthy nutritional eating structure are all pivotal to the growth of a child. Structured programs that are heavily stimulated are the key to a successful Early Learning Centre. This will allow purposeful moments for downtime where a child knows they need to rest and recharge.