I am always interested in and reading the latest papers on early childhood development and education research. The “standards” and “developmental stages” of early childhood development remain consistent. What is exciting and empowering is the research findings that support the IMPORTANCE and NECESSITY of early childhood education.
A recent read, written by Dave Vasen, Why Early Childhood Education Matters, supports the practice of providing high quality, early education programming. Most people understand that education begins at birth. But, did you know that your child’s development between the ages of 0 – 5 are crucial for your child’s future?
Recent research concludes that enrollment in preschool and prekindergarten is connected to lower rates of delinquency, crime, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. We also witness a higher rate of employment and educational achievement. What better reasons do you need to make the decision to enroll your child in a preschool program? (Why Early Education Matters Nov. 17, 2015)
The existing belief is that kindergarten programs provide the learning blocks for future educational success. This is simply not so. With the impending implementation of a 100% play based program, those building blocks, once included in the kindergarten classroom, are now being postponed until Grade 1. The owness of teaching the academic readiness skills that are so important for your child’s success and which should be taught in Kindergarten, are now placed on the Grade 1 teacher. Did you know that kindergarten is not compulsory in Alberta nor is there a formal written curriculum? With the postponement of skill instruction, it is crucial for your child to receive instruction in these building blocks prior to kindergarten entrance. I am not referring to just academic skills such as literacy and math, but physical, social and emotional skills as well. I do not discount the value of play and the learning that takes place, but unfortunately, in my opinion and based upon experience, play does not deliver all that is needed. High quality programs, with an academic focus, instructed by high quality, competent and qualified teachers is what you’re looking for.
As you know, First Steps delivers a high quality program implemented by high quality teachers who are passionate about what they do. Your child benefits by developing and receiving instruction with all of the learning blocks critical to their success prior to kindergarten entrance. This is the reality of our times. Our children need to be prepared prior to kindergarten. Be assured that your child is fully prepared for not only school success but life success. That reassurance and knowledge is priceless.