Choosing a pre-school?
Choose wisely, advise early childhood experts.
There is new research that suggests which pre-school you choose for your child can make a huge difference to their developmental outcomes now and through primary school…..according to experts.
None of my children went to a ‘proper’ pre-school. All three had a mix of family daycare and long daycare right up until school (kindy). At both family daycare and long daycare they were taught a pre-school curriculm of some kind. I’ve noticed this more so with my four year old who keeps telling me (when I ask if he had a sleep at day-care) “I’m a pre-schooler mummy we don’t have sleeps we just have rest time”.
Rod Soper is the founder of Thinkers.inq – a new early years school for three to five year olds. Mr Soper says research conducted on over 3,000 children showed that a higher quality education at pre-school level resulted in positive effects in development well into upper primary school.
“There are a noticeable difference in outcomes on a child’s intellectual and social/behavioural development from a high quality early education,” said Mr Soper.
“Choosing the right type of early learning environment can make a significant difference in how your child progresses,” he said. “Parents can adequately prepare their pre-school aged children to ease them into their next life-stage step; into mainstream school and the years beyond.”
Mr Soper suggests a number of areas that parents can look out for when considering a pre-school for their child.
- Check the educational qualifications of staff. Research shows that employees with higher qualifications have higher quality outcomes and children under their care can make stronger progress.
- Is the teacher-to-child ratio adequate? Having the right number of early childhood, degree-qualified teachers to the number of children can ensure each child receives the attention and support they need to develop their personal best.
- Is social development considered equal to educational development? It’s been shown that where both social and educational development are considered complementary and equal in importance, children can make all round progress.
- Does the environment encourage ‘sustained shared thinking?’ The use of open-ended questions and adopting ‘play with purpose’ encourages independent thinking and curiosity – both vital skills for lifelong learning.
- Are parents encouraged to be actively involved? Early learning centres that actively involve parents and encourage shared outcomes and goals, while providing individual feedback, can greatly enhance a positive outcome for a child.
The Thinkers.inq early years school will open in Sydney’s Terrey Hills in July 2014 with more to follow. It offers an early learning program based on ‘sustained shared thinking’ and highly qualified educators have been recruited to offer a ratio of teacher to child four times above the national average. Parental involvement is also actively encouraged.
For Thinkers.inq enrolments and enquiries, please contact: www.thinkersinq.com or call: 1300 697 737.
What are your thoughts on pre-schools and this research?
Would you consider sending your child to a school such as Thinkers.inq? I’m a firm believer in do what is best for you and your family. I wasn’t able to enrol my kids in the local Pre-School as the hours (10- 3pm) didn’t fit in with me and my husband who both work full time. I feel we did the best we could as far as pre-schooling goes and our kids seem to be doing ok 🙂