The Benefits of Continuous Early Childhood Education
Early childhood care plays an important role in the lives of all family members. It provides children with consistent routines and unlimited learning opportunities, and provides parents 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 long-lasting, beneficial 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 promote social and emotional development?
Having your child attend the same child care facility throughout his or her early years allows him or her 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 in advanced cooperative play, such as role-playing with others, playing games with rules, and working with others to accomplish goals. Children who experience consistent care demonstrate less aggressive behaviors, because of their ability to interact with others and use their language to resolve conflicts. For young children, the knowledge that teachers, other children, and daily routines will be consistent over time fosters confidence and competency in social settings.
How does consistency of early childhood care promote cognitive development?
Consistent child care can significantly impact a child's cognitive development. Children enrolled in a high-quality program that provides developmentally appropriate curricula for children 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 writing the letters of the alphabet to create words in kindergarten. 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 developmental objectives ensure children follow a scope and sequence of age-appropriate developmental milestones throughout their time in the child care program.
How does consistency of early childhood care 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. These daily interactions lead to more advanced language skills by promoting vocabulary development and conversational skills. Through activities such as daily group discussions, fingerplays, songs, and read-alouds, children develop the fundamental language skills they will continue to build on throughout their lifetimes.