Benefits of our preschool programsAugust 25, 2021
In 2020, well over 300,000 children in Australia aged 4 or 5 years old were enrolled in a preschool program. This is an overwhelming majority, but there are still some eligible children that miss out on the many benefits of preschool. If you’re uncertain about keeping your child home versus enrolling them in a preschool program, it’s essential to understand all the benefits that come with the latter.
Quality preschool programs are consistently linked with helping brain development, as it relates to social, cognitive, and emotional skills. This is important because neuroscientific studies have proven the early years of a child’s life to be critical for learning and overall development. Here we explore a more indepth explanation of the specific benefits of preschool programs (often referred to as early learning centres).
Improve literacy and numeracy skills
A quality early learning centre will help children develop and improve both their literacy and numeracy skills, which provide a foundation for the learning to come. However, they’ll often go beyond the basics of learning to count and write their names. At preschool, children have the opportunity to draw and play with shapes, sing songs, communicate with other kids, listen to stories, and so much more.
These experiences will help them strengthen their skills while becoming more well rounded and confident learners. This will serve them well in their later years, as research shows that children who attended childcare for three or more years do better on their year 4 literacy and numeracy tests. Children who attend preschool for 18 months had similar results.
Great primary school preparation
Evidence strongly suggests that preschool programs, and other forms of early childhood education, improve a child’s readiness for primary school. This readiness can lead children to perform better in their later years at school than children who stayed home, as demonstrated in the study referenced above. However, being prepared for primary school consists of much more than literacy and numeracy skills.
Readiness, in this context, refers to several abilities encouraged by quality preschool programs. This includes improving a child’s ability to concentrate, express their thoughts, demonstrate curiosity, and more. Strengthening their overall language skills and their base of general knowledge can also help them in all areas of their primary school education.
Development of social skills
It’s around ages three to five that most kids begin interacting with children their own age. It’s during this time that they can begin showing a very basic understanding of who their friends are, which soon develops into outright identifying their specific friends by name. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find playmates for children so young if you have them at home all day.
Preschool programs, on the other hand, give children the opportunity to develop social skills alongside kids their own age. At preschool, kids can learn appropriate social behaviours, such as how to share and take turns, communicating their thoughts, and being empathetic and listening to others. They rely on these skills to develop healthy friendships as they get older.
From primary school preparedness to learning to make friends, there are many benefits of preschool programs. That being said, it’s important to note that not all childcare providers are alike. Whether or not your child enjoys the advantages of a preschool program depends largely on the quality of that program.
This is why it’s essential to do your research and listen to recommendations before enrolling your child into a service. This will help you find a centre that will give your little one the best start to their education!
Our Early Learning Centres are purpose-built preschools and long day care centres adjacent to our local Catholic primary schools and are open to everyone in the community. You or your child do not need to be Catholic, nor is it a requirement to go on to attend the Catholic school.