The first 1,000 days of life – the time spanning roughly between conception and a young child’s second birthday – is a window of unique opportunity when the developing child’s optimal health, growth and learning pathways are established.
Guardian Teachers and Educators have the knowledge and support to develop specific learning programs that engage your baby through these important first five years. High-quality childcare – with an educational focus – offers the building blocks for inspiring a love of learning for life.
Nurturing children from as early as six weeks of age, we focus on encouraging babies and young children to develop their natural desire and abilities for inquiry, curiosity and creativity.
How Babies Learn
A common myth is that children begin their more significant learning journeys as they start primary school, but in fact, learning starts even before birth. That is why it is important to provide babies with the right support and stimulus as early as possible.
Babies learn using their eyes, ears, nose, hands and mouths. These ‘tools’ help them discover the world around them and spark their curiosity.
Babies use relationships as anchor points from which to venture out through stretching their arms to be picked up making eye contact.
Babies are constantly researching and trying things out. It’s why wrapping paper is usually more fascinating than the gift itself.
Babies learn about their identity from birth – responding to their name, smiling when spoken to, babbling while looking at their reflection.
Babies are highly sophisticated communicators using facial expressions, sounds, body language and movements to share thoughts and feelings.
Literacy for Babies
Did you know that by the age of one, children have learnt all the sounds that make up their native language?
When a baby hears the sounds of people talking, songs being sung, and the rhythms and repetitions of rhymes and stories, they’re setting the early foundations for literacy.
That’s why we use every opportunity to laugh, sing and talk with children – from nappy changes to mealtimes. The more we have real conversations about real things, the more they will understand language.
While babies do not communicate with words, they do so in other ways, through:
- Hand movements
- Facial expressions.
Our Teachers and Educators are tuned into this unique communication via their close relationships with the children, which creates a safe and supportive space for skills to develop. Educators will encourage children by asking questions, giving them plenty of time to respond and always acknowledging their efforts.
Hand-eye coordination is also key at this age. Actions such as fixing their gaze on an object and grabbing it, or playing with their own fingers and toes, are developmental milestones for the coordination required for reading and writing in later years.
Numeracy for Babies
From the very beginning, we are developing numeracy skills in babies. This is done through using concepts in everyday language, routines and play.
For example, we will count how many beds we need that day or count little fingers and toes. We make sure our counting is meaningful and relates to the environment around the child.
Our Educators encourage the use of open-ended resources in a variety of different ways to help develop numeracy skills. While using these materials, babies are discovering concepts like:
- Pattern making
Many of the seemingly small moments in a baby’s day are actually significant milestones in the learning journey. And our teams are educated in identifying and fostering these early moments of learning, to help your baby grow in so many ways, every day.