School readiness 101 for parents
There is significant research to suggest that attending a high quality early childhood education program can improve children’s school readiness, and that these benefits can continue through their education.~2016 The transition to school report by the NSW Government Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
School readiness is a common worry for parents, and educators are often asked, “How will I know if my child is ready for school?” The focus is thought to be on reading and writing, and while these are indeed important, the skills children need to be able to thrive when they go to ‘big school’ might not be the ones that immediately spring to a parent’s mind.
Our focus in early childhood is on developing skills vital to education and life itself, including self-confidence, the ability to reflect, problem-solving, critical thinking, social and communication skills, and resilience. Learning to read, write and count will come but the confidence needed to succeed in the first year of school is born from nurturing children’s innate curiosity and joy that comes from finding things out. The joy of learning – THAT is what we want for our own children and yours. This is what early childhood learning delivers. Early childhood education is not just about acquiring knowledge but learning how to learn. Flip cards and phonics won’t teach your child the joy of problem solving, give them the resilience to pick themselves up after they have failed at something, teach them to work in a team, improve their communication skills, or practise sharing. High-quality early learning experiences will.
Experienced and knowledgeable early childhood educators understand the importance of learning these skills and deliver a curriculum in a fun, secure, play-focused way that ensures children are well equipped for their transition to school. As parents, you can also support your children by building on those skills at home.
This series of articles is about what we do and what you can do, to ensure your children will be best equipped to meet the new and exciting challenges awaiting them in their primary school years ahead.