Every parent wants the best for their child and wants to see them grow into happy, well-adjusted, engaged and fulfilled adults.
The foundation for a promising future starts from the day they are born with the choice of childcare playing a foundational role in their lifelong success.
The simple fact is - high quality childcare matters for a child’s healthy development.
What science tells us about the importance of quality childcare
There’s a large body of evidence that demonstrates the positive link between the quality of childcare and a variety of positive outcomes for children as they progress through life.
For example, research done by the University of Melbourne found that children who attended preschool were up to five months ahead of their peers in critical disciplines midway through primary school. Another recent study demonstrated that high-quality early care increased children’s school readiness and that sustained access (ie several years) to early education was critical in predicting long-term outcomes.
The study found that the children’s learning was boosted because of rich and diverse experiences provided in the classrooms and that success depended on the children having many different opportunities to play and engage in hands-on exploration.
Researchers have established that higher quality childcare is associated with:
- Development of skills needed for success at school and beyond
- Better cognitive and language development
- Establishment of pre-literacy and basic mathematical skills and concepts
- More inquisitive children
- Greater ability to adjust to routines
- Greater resistance to conflict
- Healthier and stronger relationships
- Greater acceptance of diversity
- Reduced risk of behavioural problems
- More resilient children who can handle challenges more effectively
- Lifelong learning
Early brain development
A child’s brain grows and develops rapidly during the early years. It doubles in size in the child’s first year, grows to around 80% of adult size by the age of three and is nearly full-grown (90%) by the time the child is five years old.
Brain development is based on the child’s experiences and there is no doubt that children who come from loving, stimulating and nurturing homes and who attend high-quality childcare and early education centres are more likely to have positive experiences. These put in place essential building blocks for the development of a range of cognitive, emotional, social and physical skills and enable immature brains to develop to the fullest.
What does ‘high-quality’ childcare look like?
Not all childcare centres are the same - and even those that purport to provide high quality care can vary significantly in their offering.
If you want the best possible start for your child, here are some of the essential ‘must-haves’ of a high-quality childcare centre:
- An environment that is child-centred, non-judgemental, encouraging and supportive
- Well-qualified and experienced staff
- Ongoing professional development opportunities for educators
- Low child to adult ratios
- A safe, secure, welcoming, nurturing and loving environment where interactions between all staff (teaching and support), the children and the wider school community are warm, positive and open
- A curriculum that extends across all aspects of child development, including physical, motor, language, cognitive, emotional and social development
- An environment where diversity and culture are celebrated
- Interactive, play-based learning opportunities that are developmentally appropriate
- Stimulating activity and play areas with quality resources and materials
- Areas for quiet time
- Plentiful opportunities for children to explore and discover their world
- Non-judgemental, encouraging responses to each child’s progress and achievements
- Recording and documentation of each child’s growth and development to help them learn, strengthen their self-belief in their abilities and to keep track of developmental milestones
- Strong relationships between the school and the family where family involvement is encouraged
- Balanced, nutritious menus that cater for all dietary and cultural needs
Reggio Emilia and quality childcare
At Evoke Early Learning, our centres are inspired by the globally acclaimed Reggio Emilia philosophy. It’s a proven child-centric educational approach which encompasses all of the above components in the 12 Reggio Emilia principles.
A last word on quality childcare
Childcare plays a valuable and important role in a child’s healthy growth and development.
The benefits of quality childcare are significant and include better intellectual, social and emotional development. Positive experiences in childcare also enhance a child’s readiness for school and are likely to result in greater independence, resilience, awareness and confidence.
If you’re considering childcare options in Perth for your little one, we warmly invite you to book a tour of one of our Evoke Early Learning childcare centres in Clayton or Albert Park and experience our unique brand of high-quality childcare for children aged from 0 - 5 years. We look forward to meeting you!