Why Is Attending a Nursery Crucial in Your Child’s Early Development?
Simply put, a child’s early years lay the foundation for all that is to come. Research has shown that much of what you need to succeed in life is established in the early years. In recent years, researchers have learned that the human brain develops the vast majority of its neurons, and is at its most receptive to learning, between birth and five years of age. During this time, the human brain undergoes rapid development; it is a period when a child builds cognitive skills — the foundation for reading, math, science and academics — as well as character skills, social-emotional growth, gross-motor skills and executive functioning, which includes everything from impulse control to problem solving.The intake of new information is critical to the formation of active neural pathways (Shonkoff and Phillips, 2000) that are essential to brain development.Early education plays a critical role during this important developmental period. If we can capitalize on this explosion of brain activity in the first five years of life - more profound than any future years - and maximize the support and learning opportunities, then we really stand a good chance of setting young children on a trajectory of success.
Research has shown that children who attend earlylearning programs demonstrate improved social skills, higher levels of school achievement, and enhanced attention spansthan those who have no formal early education. They are less likely to repeat a grade or be placed in special education classes, since learning issues can be identified and mediated early. Likewise, some studies have concluded that young children enrolled in formal early years educational programs usually graduate from high school, attend college, have fewer behavioral problems, and do not become involved with crime in their adolescent and young adult years. In addition to benefiting children experiencing normal development, it was also shown that children with learning or other physical disabilities benefit immensely from early childhood education. Children taught how to speak a second or third language during their early developmental years will also demonstrate higher levels of academic achievement across all subjects in later years.
Yet some people still have reservations about the importance of formal early childhood education and cite their child being too young or not ready as the main reasons for not opting for a nursery.Deciding to send your child to nursery can be a difficult decision to make, for others it may not be a choice but a necessitydue to returning to the workforce. Regardless of you questioning the benefits of early education, or being guilt laden for having to return to work, you can be assured that the positive benefits of formal early years education will have a direct impact on your child’s development now and as later on as well as they progress to big school.
HERE ARE SIX REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR CHILD TO NURSERY
1.Nursery provides structured learning experiences and care for children
This means the staff is trained to create a safe and stimulating environment for your child to enjoy and develop in.Some studies have also found that children who had spent three years or more in nursery education could advance their academic attainment by up to a year or two over those whose parents kept them at home until the age of five.
2. Nursery prepares your child for school
Children benefit immensely from mixing with other children and will therefore be more prepared and better equipped when it comes to starting school.They will also adapt easily to a learning environment, have greater social skills, and they will feel more secure in a different environment. Nursery will have also helped your child develop confidence in relating to adults.On another note nursery will have encouraged your child to find and use a tissue for their nose, wash their hands, tidy toys, and realize they sometimes have to wait for things, and take turns. Furthermore they will be taking part in activities that build on their abilities, interests, and propel their learning to greater heights.
3. Nursery encourages playtime
Your child will have a chance to play and learn in a group and one-to-one with a member of staff. They will also benefit from playing with other children, as this can help them to gain confidence and develop their social skills.An active toddler is likely to remain active later, so it is important to encourage activities both indoors and outdoors. You want your children to love the great outdoors, not the TV, one thing you do not see at a nursery is a television. At home it is very easy to turn on the TV to give yourself some time off. Play is vitally important as your children will develop muscle control, balance and coordination.The range of messy play activities at a nursery is far greater than can possibly be available at home, including water, sand, paint and glue.
4. Nursery supports potty training
If you send your children to nursery for several days a week, potty training will prove a breeze. Potty training is obviously not a sole reason to send your children to nursery, but in terms of generally lifestyle assistance, every little thing helps.
5. Nursery helps children develop social skills and make friends
Socializing with other children is vital for your child’s successful development. They will be eager to engage with their peers and become aware of the attachment they feel towards children they regularly play with.Toddlers get a lot out of being with other children. Nothing that you can do can make up for the excitement that other children provide.
6. Nursery also benefits parents
Your children are being looked after by nursery practitioners who have had a decent night’s sleep, enjoy their work and are paid to change nappies, manage tantrums and clear up food thrown on the floor. Parents feel more relaxed after having a break from their children, which can only be a good thing for parent and child.Nursery workers witness the behavior of our children from a completely different perspective and through experience. With this in mind they can be relied upon to offer constructive advice and opinion on the development of your children.
Shonkoff, Jack P. (Editor); Phillips, Deborah A. (Editor); Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development. From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington, DC, USA: National Academies Press, 2000.