Early learning programs for babies and toddlers are foundations of future success
“Education begins the moment we see children as innately wise and capable beings. Only then can we play along in their world” - Robyn Beisswanger
Early child development is extremely crucial as it sets the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. The experiences children have during daycare and early learning programs contribute to their brain development and capacity to absorb new information.
Babies and toddlers are smart, creative and inquisitive human beings that need to be nurtured through being in a stimulating environment, encouraging their ability to learn, discover and explore. Young Academics’ early learning programs have been created with the intention of providing a holistic approach to learning, underpinned by play-based learning. One of the best ways to teach children is through play - this allows them to explore their surroundings and learn through their choices and movements.
Babies and toddlers who are well supported and nurtured physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually through early learning programs will develop a multitude of neural connections that will support them throughout their life course. These nurturing and stimulating experiences developed through early learning programs establish their social competence, cognitive skills, emotional well being, language and physical skills.
It is amazing how much a child can learn at such a young age. They are much smarter than we all think!
“The first five years of a child's life are fundamentally important. They are the foundation that shapes children's future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general.”
The importance of early learning programs for babies and toddlers
Education is priceless and access to quality early learning programs for babies and toddlers is extremely important. As mentioned above, a child’s participation in early learning programs and education assists in the development of their cognitive abilities and also helps with enhancing social and emotional skills.
“Research strongly supports the benefits of enrolling children for 600 hours in the year before school so they arrive at school ready to participate in ongoing learning.” - NSW Education
What do these early learning programs teach babies and toddlers?
- They create a life-long passion for learning
- Help them develop social skills
- Assist with the development of fine motor and sensory skills
- Fosters language development and vocabulary
- Encourages creativity
- Equip them to cope with problem-solving
What should early learning programs for babies and toddlers be teaching?
Early learning programs for babies and toddlers should be planned and design to extend a child’s thinking, skills, interest and abilities. It may sound simple to ‘plan’ a program for children, however, the way this is done can impact a child’s learning and development. Effective early learning programs for babies and toddlers are based on documented records, observations and interactions with children, as well as their needs, interests and abilities.
What should your child’s early learning program look like?
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to planning a program. However, it is important to make sure these programs involve planning for all areas of children’s learning including:
- Physical skills
- Language and literacy skills
- Personal and interpersonal skills
- Creativity and expressive skills
- Problems solving, thinking and mathematical abilities
Early learning programs for babies
Programs for babies should be planned differently from toddlers and preschool-aged children. Usually, these programs are planned around routines such as meal and nappy change times, sleep and settling routines. These programs should be individualised and focused on the level of development the baby is ready for.
The best way to plan an effective early learning program for babies is by working together with educators, early learning centres and other members of the family to see what is important in assisting their child to settle happily and develop their skills to their full potential. Babies also love learning through music, talking, singing and reading - this sets a foundation for their literacy skills.
Movement activities such as rolling and tummy time also promote physical development. A key way to promote a baby's development is by ensuring they receive enough supervised tummy-time. Tummy time can be incorporated in early learning programs at preschool or even at home! But what are the benefits?
- Builds strength: tummy time provides babies with the opportunity to use underdeveloped muscles in their core - allowing them to grow stronger and improve their stability
- Prevents health issues: although the safest way for babies to sleep is on their back, this position can lead to flat spots on the back of their heads. Tummy time can help relieve the pressure on the back of the skull and promotes normal development
- Fosters independence: not only is tummy time beneficial for physical development but it encourages babies to play independently and explore their surroundings. It helps them understand the concept of space and distance.
Early learning programs for toddlers and pre-schoolers
As babies get older and start making their own decisions it is important that early learning programs start supporting their language, independence and social skills. Planned programs including one-on-one interactions or even group play-based activities allow children to develop in a range of different areas. Parents and educators are the biggest influencers and role models which is why it is important to always display positive behaviours and actions, as children learn from their elders.
At Young Academics, our early learning programs and environments are carefully constructed to provide a nurturing and stimulating space for children. Each room, program and activity is designed to encourage curiosity, inquiry, discovery and critical thinking.
We ensure your little one has the best learning experience! Do you want to join the YA family? Enquire today on 1300 668 993