The Benefits of Consistent Early Childhood Care and Education
Early childhood care and education plays an important role in the lives of all family members. It provides children with consistent routines and unlimited learning opportunities, and provides families with the security of knowing their child is in a safe and nurturing environment. Many children are enrolled in child care settings or facilities from the time they are infants to the time they enter elementary school. During these early years, children go through critical stages of development, and consistent, high-quality care can have beneficial and long-lasting effects on the overall development of children.
Of course, choosing a program in which your child will be loved and cared for is of utmost importance. But it is also important to select a child care provider who will partner with your family to ensure your child's healthy development throughout his or her early years.
Social and Emotional Development
How does consistency of early childhood care and education promote social and emotional development?
Having your child attend the same child care facility throughout his or her early years allows your child to develop relationships with the adults and children in that environment, which provides a sense of security. A child who is comfortable with the people in his or her life is more likely to participate in learning opportunities and advanced cooperative play, such as working with others to accomplish goals and tasks, role-play, and games with rules. In addition, children who experience consistent care may also demonstrate less aggressive behaviors, because of their ability to use language to resolve conflicts. For young children, the knowledge that adults and other children, as well as daily routines will be consistent over time fosters confidence and competency in social settings.
How does consistency of early childhood care and education promote cognitive development?
Consistent, high-quality child care can significantly impact a child's cognitive development. Children enrolled in a high-quality program that provides developmentally appropriate curricula from infancy through age five, enables children to develop specific cognitive skills at the appropriate age. Examples include showing interest in stories read aloud during infancy, recognizing and identifying colors in preschool, and solving simple addition and subtraction problems in prekindergarten. Child care programs with developmentally appropriate curricula help children develop cognitive skills on a developmental continuum, meaning the programs build on children's existing skills and knowledge to help them acquire new skills and knowledge. In addition, curriculum programs that incorporate early learning standards ensure children progress through a scope and sequence of developmentally appropriate learning objectives and milestones throughout their time in the program.
How does consistency of early childhood care and education promote language development?
Language development occurs at a rapid pace in children between the ages of one and five years old. Children who are secure in their environment and with the people around them are more likely to engage in frequent, age-appropriate conversations. Daily interactions such as these lead to more advanced language skills by promoting vocabulary development and conversational skills. Activities such as daily group discussions, fingerplays, songs, and read-alouds, help children develop the fundamental language skills they will continue to build on throughout their lifetimes.