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Day Care- The Educational Difference

13 Oct
Kathleen Thomas is a Marketing Support Coordinator for the Atlanta day care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum. She as graciously submitted this article for the benefit of our ARMY. Thanks Kathleen
Two-career families and single parents alike are well aware of the critical role quality, dependable day care plays in their lives. The knowledge that a child spends their days in a secure, supportive environment is of the utmost importance to all moms and dads. The question remains, however, whether simple childcare offers sufficient facilitation for the healthy and successful intellectual development of toddlers and preschool-age children. Is something more substantial needed?

Parents who have the financial ability or family resources to provide safe, loving childcare during working hours are indeed in an enviable situation, though it is quite possible that children in more basic daycare environments are not being exposed a full range of intellectual and educational opportunities. While it is highly likely that the physical and emotional needs of such children are fully met, and it is quite probable that those in daycare facilities receive adequate socialization with other children, they may be missing out on pedagogical activities able to promote advanced cognitive development and lay the foundation for educational success in later years.

Early Starts Do Matter

For years, educational experts have asserted that a child’s life experiences from birth through their fifth birthday can greatly influence their future academic fortunes. However, despite general policy proclamations requiring children to be ready to learn upon beginning formal schooling, politicians have not offered accompanying recommendations about how such a goal might be achieved.

There have been studies suggesting that a child’s learning trajectory actually commences inside the womb. It has been argued that unborn babies who were exposed to language and music during the mother’s third trimester of pregnancy showed demonstrable benefits as a result. Human brains experience substantial growth and refinement in the first few years, and it is indisputable that the types of things seen and heard by children during that time markedly impact the sorts of people they ultimately turn out to be. It is during these formative years that children acquire fundamental language abilities, self-esteem, personality and disposition, all elements vital to their success or failure in the broader world. In essence, the years leading up to formal schooling provide a real window of opportunity to positively and, perhaps permanently, encourage and shape what are highly impressionable, eager minds.

Definitive Advantages

There has been substantial evidence to show that even a single academic year of accredited, formal preschool classes involving educational activities such as creative playtime and skills instruction can produce substantial benefits for children by the time they begin kindergarten. Children who have attended this type of early schooling tend to demonstrate advanced speaking, reading, listening and quantitative skills, and therefore are much better prepared to move onto more advanced topics than their counterparts who did not have similar instruction. Furthermore, children with exposure to an academic classroom setting exhibit more sophisticated social acuity and a heightened ability to work effectively in groups. The benefits to be gleaned from participation in formal, academic preschool are long-lasting, and the skills acquired by virtue of this type of early education provide children with the edge they need to achieve success in an increasingly competitive world.