Guardian Childcare & Education

More Days in Childcare can be Better for your Child

15th February 2021

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 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.

Children playing with toys inside and educator Lilyfield

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. 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 actually has less benefit than sending them more often.

With frequent exposure to a high-quality childcare setting, children benefit from 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 casually.

With this in mind, Guardian Curriculum Mentor Simone Myskiw shares the benefits of sending your child to a high-quality childcare…

Emotional Development

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.

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, as well as Teachers, Educators, cooks and other staff.

By mixing with different people, your child will learn how to interact with others, share, play and problem-solve. These are all essential skills needed for life.

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.

Children playing outdoor at Maroubra East

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 is a great way to prepare your child for school.

Our 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 to update them on their child’s progress towards starting school.

Teaching Structure

There are many benefits to childcare, and there are even more benefits to sending your child multiple days a week.

Regular attendance at childcare supports children to get comfortable in the environment, particularly those who are anxious about separating from family. As the environment becomes more familiar, children settle and benefit from the many learning and development opportunities on offer.

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. Once they are in school they will spend five full days a week out of home.

Children reading books outside at Balmain Cove

Sparking Curiosity and a Love of Learning

Childcare provides children with the chance to develop their love of learning through play-based activities that have real learning outcomes. Activities such as pretending to visit the doctors or going to the shops allow your child to practise social skills and learn literacy and numeracy principles.

Encouraging children to explore their interests is something our Teachers and Educators focus on. This leads to sparking their imagination and really enhances the learning experience.

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 may include exposure to other languages via Educators and Teachers from different cultural backgrounds. While access to language learning through games, songs and other activities all help to strengthen your child’s vocabulary.

Children are strong, unique and resilient individuals, capable of complex thinking and their own perspectives. 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.

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