Why send your child to preschool?
A quality preschool where there are well-qualified and experienced practitioners who give high priority to: interacting with children and observing them closely in order to chart their development; responding to their needs; and, confirming and extending their learning will enhance your child's potential and giving them an early advantage.
Supporting early childhood development
The early years are a crucial time in your child’s development. Scientists tell us that the brain develops rapidly in the first three years gaining up to 90% of its final mass and although the brain continues to develop into adolescence the best time for shaping brains is in the early years.
What your child learns in the early years is just as important as what they will learn in later years. Perhaps even more so because a good learning environment now can have a positive impact upon social, educational and behavioural outcomes that will last throughout school years. Choosing a high quality preschool for your child can make a real difference to their future.
Look for a setting which focuses upon relationships rather than resources. The importance of relationships cannot be overemphasised. Attachment theory suggests that humans are born needing relationships with others. Secure attachments lead to independence and well developed social skills. Social interaction helps to develop the brain and capacity for learning. A good preschool will value social development as highly as intellectual development. Positive relationships formed with caregivers develop a sense of security and provide a safe and secure base from which to explore the world.
The key person system helps children to feel valued and cared about by someone in particular while they are at preschool. It allows them to have someone, as developmental psychologist Bronfenbrenner puts it, who is 'crazy’ about them. It has been acknowledged that people working in early years develop strong feelings for the children they care for and my opinion that is as it should be. Your chosen preschool’s team cannot be the same as family, but should come close.
See this article in ABC magazine.