What is quality child care?
When I was a young mother, I had no idea what quality childcare looked like. It wasn’t until I attended college and received my degree in early childhood education that I truly understood the impact that “environment” played in the education of young children. Studies show that setting up an environment that is engaging, calming, and promotes independence is very important in determining a child’s outcome. Put yourself in a child’s shoes. Walk into a room meant for children and decide: does this room invite me to play, or does it look cluttered and unwelcoming? Are the materials purposefully placed or are they pushed together on a shelf so they don't make sense to me? Have materials been selected that are both age appropriate and educational? Or are they garage sale toys that have very little meaning in play?
An educated teacher purposefully plans your child's classroom with toys that are research based and age appropriate. "Centers" are grouped according to learning purpose such as science, math, language, and writing. The centers are well established and noticeable. This ensures that each child knows the space has been created for that purpose, and it all makes sense. Early childhood development is one of the most important times in a child's life. Early learning lays the foundation for all future development -- it should never be taken lightly.
I encourage you to take a good, long, look at the environment in which you are placing your young child. Does it nurture your child's developmental needs? Or is it just a place to put your child while you work?
See more in my next blog about caregiver responsiveness and the role it plays in quality care.
Until Next Time,
Owner & Chief Administrator
Small Wonders Discovery & Learning Center
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Ordering ice cream, filling orders and making change!
Small Wonders Salem Pre-K learns math, science and literacy as they open the Small Wonders Ice Cream Shop!
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