There is a wide range of options for your child’s formative years of education, from home day care through to private early learning centres and everything in between. Then there are different teaching methods such as Reggio Emilia and Montessori, so how are they different and how will you know what is best for your child?
Like everything, it is very much ‘horses for courses’, or in other words as parents, it is vital you take the time to work out what works best for your child’s specific needs while staying true to the values and principles that you wish to raise your child.
Another consideration is the commute to and from the centre and your place of work. You may be travelling to and from work each day, and if this is the case, you need to decide if it’s better having an early learning centre close to your home or close to your work.
When it comes to choosing your centre, how are early learning centres different?
There is a great deal of research that shows that children who start learning from an early age, not only embrace education but develop many lifelong skills outside of simply learning to read and right.
From building friendships, creating social situations and learning through play, early learning centres facilitate all of the above.
Where day care may provide care for your children, early learning centres provide an environment that is designed to stimulate their imagination, allow them to ‘learn’ not simply through a structured program as in school, but through play and discovery and the national education framework set by the Australian Government.
Although child care centres themselves may differ in their approach, they all must operate within the Early Years Learning Framework, which has been developed by the Australian Education Department to ensure that all children have a framework to growth and a structured approach for their future learning needs.
Early learning centres are also flexible, they are not ridged in the time or number of days your child needs to attend, many offering single day, even casual visits so your child – and you – can learn, play, explore and make friends.
However, as your child grows older and is preparing for school, most early learning centres progress your child from room to room by age. As they reach the age of four, they are migrated into the kindergarten room, while provides a platform for them to prepare for the transition to school. They also do this with their friends they have made at your early learning centres over the years, providing them stability and continuity as they learn to love learning.
In contrast, children who may have been staying at home with family or perhaps in a home day care environment may attend a kindergarten. It should be noted that these are not day care facilities, but more structured teaching days and as such don’t typically offer flexible day care hours or long day care options like dedicated early learning centres.
For more information on the options available within early learning centres or if want to understand more about the services & programs available, please contact the team at Village Education today on 1300 017 005 or visit our website http://www.villageeducation.com.au.