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Mt Colah Preschool Kindergarten, Mt Colah NSW
Is Early Childhood Education Important?
The area of early childhood education has been widely researched in recent years. Research is discovering that children who have had the opportunity to access a quality early childhood education programme have a greater chance of a positive start to school life, and the impact preschool attendance has on learning outcomes is seen to be long lasting.
Providing your child with a quality early childhood programme will establish the attitudes, behaviours and skills that are vital for a child’s ongoing achievement at school. A successful transition to school results in children who like school, look forward to going regularly and show steady growth in academic and social skills.
Looking for a Preschool
It can be daunting when you first start to look for Preschool Education for your child. It pays to do your homework and visit a few centres to get a feel for the environment. Below are some things to consider when choosing a Preschool.
- Do you feel you and your child are welcome in the centre?
- Do you believe that the philosophy of the centre is in line with your views?
- Is the centre currently accredited?
- Meet the staff – are they suitable role models for your child?
- Is the programme in line with your requirements – e.g. educational, developmental, social etc.
- Is the centre safe?
- Is the centre adhering to Health guidelines?
- Is there a happy buzz about the centre?
- Are the staff and children actively interacting and enjoying themselves? Do you feel comfortable?
“Learning environments need to be attractive in a literal sense – that is, they need to attract children and encourage them to be actively involved. The physical environment is not a backdrop to the curriculum but rather is part of the curriculum”
Extract from Putting Children First, the magazine of the (NCAC) Issue 38 June 2011 (Pages 12-14)
Support the Transition to School
There are many things you can do to support your child’s transition to school. Please refer to the following links as they provide some great information.
Time to Start School:
Best Start Programme:
Tips for Parents with Preschoolers
"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”
The Importance of Play
Children's learning is dynamic, complex and holistic. Physical, social, emotional, personal, spiritual, creative, cognitive and linguist aspects of learning are all intricately interwoven and interrelated.
Play is a context for learning that:
- Allows for the expression of personality and uniqueness
- Enhances dispositions such as curiosity and creativity
- Enables children to make connections between prior experiences and new learning
- Assists children to develop relationships and concepts
- Stimulates a sense of wellbeing
"Play is the highest form of research.”
Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. When children play with each other they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings.
Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning.
Read to your child
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
Reading to your child is not only a fun activity it is an activity the whole family can enjoy and it is so important in supporting your child’s language and literacy development.
If possible, read to your child every day, take time to discuss the story. It is fabulous to have some old favourites that you read regularly. Don’t forget those Mother Goose rhymes which are fantastic for developing the understanding of rhyming words.
Please view this article for some great ideas about reading to children
Here are some suggested titles for children about starting school:
- Ahlberg, J. & Ahlberg, A. (1988) Starting School. London: Puffin
- Bourgeois, P., & Clark B. (1995). Franklin Goes to School. New York: Scholastic
- Cohen, M. (1967). Will I have a friend? New York: Aladdin
- Cork, B.T. (1989). Sam starts school. London: Octopus
- Hughes, S. (1992). Lucy and Tom go to school. London: Puffin
- London J. (2002). Zack at school. New York: Scholastic
- McGhee, A. (2002) Countdown to Kindergarten. San Diego CA: Silver Whistle
- Slate, J. (1996) Miss Bindergarten gets ready for Kindergarten. New York: Puffin
- Tyler, J., & Hawthorn P., (1996). There’s a dragon at my school. London: Usborne
(List taken from:
Children starting school: Images from picture storybooks. Dockett, S., Whitton, D., Perry, B., University of Western Sydney).