The Importance of Structured Childcare Programs

In a world where we understand the importance of encouraging children to explore and learn through what piques their interest, the words ‘structured childcare’ can sound rather jarring. Therefore, we need to understand the difference between a program being structured versus one that’s rigid.

Indeed, while the latter harps back to long outdated views and concepts, a structured play and early learning environment have been proven time and time again to be the most advantageous to future happiness and success.

Learning isn’t something that a child performs in isolation. The first five years of life is a period of constant education. It’s when the brain undergoes incredible evolution, building neurological pathways that will influence every aspect of life. From the way they deal with challenges to social interaction, a thirst for knowledge to successful relationships – we owe it to the adults of tomorrow to provide them with the very best grounding from which they can grow.

Enter the structured learning environment – something that provides carefully planned and strategic approaches that benefit every aspect of early education.

5 Advantages that a Structure Brings

Before we dive in, it’s important to know that the concept can be embraced in all environments. Your child begins the learning journey at birth. This means that a positive framework is encouraged both at home and in more formal locations, such as an early learning centre or kindergarten.

The following are examples of how structure will benefit your child.

  1. Communication: From the first moment you hold your babe in arms, learning the art of communication begins. Developing their skills is multi-faceted and includes touch, expression, body language and other subtle nuances – as well as the more obvious one of speech. Equally important is the skill of reciprocation – AKA, listening. Of course, a child needs to learn how to express themselves, but communication is a two-way street. A structured learning environment encourages both these aspects, allowing the child to learn the communication skills that will drive their ability to connect with others and the world around them.
  2. Establishing routines: Every parent and caregiver knows that this can be a challenge. However, human nature thrives on routine – we all gravitate towards the comfort they bring, as well as the physical and psychological advantages. Sleep is a great example of this – no end of studies prove how harmful shift work is to health. You only need to suffer a sleepless night or two (new parents will totally relate) to realise how important good sleep habits are. Of course, it’s no secret that instilling healthy routines into a child’s life can take a while. This is why a well-structured early childcare facility can continue your good work. Following structured time for eating, playing, sleeping etc will filter into home life, helping you fit routine actions, such as bedtime hygiene (teeth brushing, getting into PJs etc) and morning rituals (getting up, breakfast…)
  3. Learning about time (and time management): Time schedules become more important as we grow. Routine nap time transcends over time into getting up for Kindy and, when the time comes, school. Understanding time impacts everything about life, and children develop their awareness as they grow. Structured routines provide the building blocks of time management – something that a good early learning environment manages through routine and flexibility.
  4. Independence: Developing independence is a key life skill – one that can be promoted in so many ways. A structured environment provides a child with a sense of what they need to do next. Once they understand that, encouragement to take control of age-appropriate activities (cleaning their teeth, putting on their shoes, that kind of thing) not only fosters independence, but also the feel-good factor that comes with the freedom to make choices and action these decisions.
  5. Developing social skills: A structured environment where healthy interactions with others are actively encouraged is crucial for developing social skills. Learning in a safe and positive environment is key, providing the space to understand how to deal with their own emotions and those of others, process their feelings, communicate and learn how to empathise.

At Evoke Early Learning, we advocate for the rights of all of our children, respecting them as individuals and providing a home-from-home that supports and continues the great work that parents and caregivers are doing.

We offer nursery, toddler/pre-Kindy and Kindergarten programs that combine the benefits of structure with the flexibility that encourages each child to learn the skills necessary to fulfil their unique potential.

Discover more about our values and contact our team for a chat today.

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