Posted on: 23 December 2020
The first few years of your child's life are crucial to their development. That is why it is important to ensure that your child's early childhood program doesn't just provide for their basic needs but also helps establish a strong foundation for future learning. When looking at early childhood programs, very few core components you should look for will indicate a strong environment that will provide for your child's educational and social-emotional needs.
Core Component #1: Interpersonal Interactions
With young children, the teacher is a vital component of a high-quality early childhood program. Check and find out what type of training the teachers have. Ideally, your child will be taught by teachers who have an educational foundation in early childhood education. They may hold an associate degree and early childhood education or a full teachers degree obtained via a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
Additionally, sitting with school, pay attention to how the teachers interact with the children. Young children need teachers who respond to them with empathy, respect and warmth. A high-quality teacher can help your child grow.
Core Component #2: Development of Appropriate Physical Environment
Next, a high-quality early childhood program will have a physical environment that allows children to play and explore in a safe manner both inside and outside. For a toddler or preschool-age child, that includes an environment that allows for both solo play and more complex imaginative play with others.
The environment should help spark your child's imagination and allow your child to engage in independent and self-directed activities. For example, a classroom with a play kitchen area, a reading corner and a sensory table is a classroom that is set up for independent and self-directed learning.
When examining the indoor environment, look for classrooms where the furniture is child-sized and materials are easy for children to reach. Look for classrooms where literacy is encouraged via labels and words that are placed at a level a child can easily see.
When looking at the outdoor space, make sure that there is space for the child to engage in more directed play, such as playground equipment, and room for more imaginative play, such as a sandbox or an open field where the children can run.
Core Component #3: Administrative Support
Finally, you want to look for a program that doesn't just have strong teachers but also has strong administrative support. An effective program will have leaders who help provide instructional support to the teachers and help ensure that the teachers have the materials they need to meet their students' needs adequately.
When choosing an early childhood learning center for your child, look for one that employs teachers with educational backgrounds in early childhood education. Next, look for programs for indoor and outdoor environments to encourage independent and self-directed learning. Finally, look for a program with strong administrative support that backs up the teachers and keeps the program running smoothly.
Contact a local early childhood learning centre to learn more.Share