You know the role you serve as a childcare provider in a childu2019s development is important. But do you know just how important? Studies show that high-quality childcare centers can improve academic and behavioral outcomes for children once they reach kindergarten.
The defining characteristics of a high-quality center arenu2019t solely decided by how well you teach letters, numbers, colors and shapes, however. So what makes a childcare center high-quality? Weu2019ve compiled the results of the Early School Readiness studies to bring you these highlights of high-quality care, which produces the following affects for children:
- Improved behavior at ages 2 and 3
- Increased skills in academics including letters and numbers
- Better development in cognition and language
Caregivers and teachers
A very important aspect of a high-quality childcare center is its teachers and caregivers. The study found that children were more well-prepared for kindergarten when teachers exhibited the following behaviors and activities:
- Engage in questions with children
- Be positive and discourage negative talk and behavior in the classroom
- Offer encouragement
- Respond to children
- Incorporate songs and books into the classroom
- Positive physical contact with the child
The learning environment of childcare centers also plays a role in how prepared children are for kindergarten. Asking young children to sit at desks or a table for extended periods of time is not ideal for their active bodies to learn. Furthermore, children need to feel safe and supported throughout the day in childcare and a clean, welcoming environment plays a key role.
u201cFor example, high levels of emotional support in the pre-K year were related to increases in childrenu2019s social competence and to decreases in childrenu2019s problem behavior at the end of the pre-K year,u201d the study noted.
Ensure your classrooms have organized areas for play, art, naptime, etc. to provide emotional support for children through the right environment.
Support from parents
Support and encouragement outside the classroom can be just as important as inside the classroom. Parents continuing conversations that begin at childcare to provide a consistent experience for children is important.
An easy way to do this is by sharing updates with parents throughout the day of what their child learned and any behavioral problems they encountered. iCare’s Childcare Software provides messaging and photo tools to make these interactions seamless and effortless throughout the day. Parents who engage in their child’s education will often see greater success rates from their children in kindergarten.
The impact of the early years on a child’s future schooling success cannot be underscored enough. These years lay the foundation for future success in education.