A quality early childhood education is one of the number one predictors of future success. The selection of a daycare or preschool program is the first of many decisions parents will have to make about their child’s education and arguably the most important. The first few years of life are marked by the most rapid development of connections between brain cells, the largest quantities of absorbed information, and the highest number of words learned per day. In fact, the average two year old adds around five new words to his or her vocabulary each day. During a period of such growth, it is critical that children are encouraged to grow developmentally and socially, a goal that is best accomplished through enrollment in a qualiity daycare program.
This article will provide some daycare tips for parents about choosing the right child care program that will provide developmentally appropriate support and foster child development.
- Don’t get caught up in academics. Many preschool programs emphasize paperwork and other academic skills at a level that is not developmentally appropriate for preschool aged children. Though it is perfectly appropriate for children to practice letter and number recognition and fine motor skills, such efforts are best accomplished through play. Jean Piaget, a respected child and educational psychologist, wisely stated, “Play is a child’s work.” Through play, children are able to explore their world and develop connections. A quality facility engages children in exploratory play instead of developmentally inappropriate paperwork.
- Check for appropriate licenses. Any daycare potomac maryland residents can choose from is required to be certified. Confirm that the facility you are interested in is in fact licensed by the state to provide child care. This means that it is regularly inspected for health and safety.
- Ask about the qualifications of caregivers. Look for facilities that employ staff members who have studied early childhood education and development. A teacher or caregiver who has studied the way young children learn and grow is qualified to manage a room full of little ones much more than a person who simply “loves children.” If you want your child to truly reap the benefits of an early childhood education, you’ll need to make sure that the person providing it knows what they’re doing.
- Fight the separation anxiety. Because early childhood education is still seen as optional, many parents of preschool aged children choose to keep them at home rather than endure the difficult first separation from home life. Though this period can be difficult for parents and children alike, it is essential to future growth. Many parents convince themselves that they can provide just as excellent of an education by keeping preschoolers at home, but fail to recognize that perhaps the most important element of preschool is social. Children can’t learn how to interact with other children effectively by staying home with mom or dad and will struggle to keep up with their well socialized peers if they enter kindergarten without having had a variety of social experiences.
The studies recommending preschool education are overwhelming. Statistically speaking, preschool education results in higher academic success and reduced chances of welfare, incarceration, and unemployment. Sending your child to a quality daycare is one of the best ways to ensure their future success in school and in life.