The benefits of early childhood education are plentiful and go well beyond the commonly thought of reasons such as achieving good grades and potentially acquiring a high salary as an adult. Did you know that there are only 2,000 days between the time your child is born and the time they start their first day of kindergarten? While it may seem like a lot, trust us, they will fly by! This is why you want to maximize this time and provide them with the best early childhood education.
What children learn and experience during those 2,000 days will have a lasting impact on their lives. With quality early childhood education, children can experience many benefits such as being better prepared for school and having higher graduation rates.
At Primary Beginnings, we are committed to providing quality early childhood education programs that give children the foundation they need to grow and excel. As we take a closer look at early childhood education, we will explore the many benefits, and share some factors you’ll want to consider as you choose an early childhood education center.
What is Early Childhood Education?
When you hear someone talking about early childhood education, they are referring to the skills children learn during their preschool years. This can include identifying shapes, repeating words, recognizing faces, learning to count objects, and much more. Any activity that impacts a child’s emotional, mental, psychological, or behavioral growth can be considered part of their early childhood education.
Benefits of Early Childhood Education
When children are exposed to early education, the benefits are endless. Consider these quick stats from the National Education Association when it comes to children who are enrolled in early childhood education programs. The benefits of early childhood education are diverse, but a few are as follows:
- Less likely to repeat a grade
- More prepared for later grades
- Higher workforce earners
- More likely to graduate from high school
Now, let’s dive into the additional benefits of early education.
Enhanced Brain Development
Now that we’ve outlined the 4 obvious benefits of early childhood education, let’s dive into more underrated ones. From birth to age 3, children undergo a rapid period of brain development. Any experiences they have during this time play a crucial role in their development. Exposure to positive experiences can lead to successful outcomes.
Up to age 8, early childhood experiences also affect the development of the brain’s structure. From vital cognitive development to more complex brain functions, your child’s brain development begins as early as they are growing in the womb! This provides the foundation for all future learning, health, and behavior.
Improved School Readiness
Early childhood development helps kids become ready for elementary school by building the cognitive and character skills they need to succeed. This includes being persistent, attentive, and having impulse control. In fact, being ready to excel in grade school is one of the most credible benefits of early childhood education.
While each child will develop at their own pace, it is important to be aware of typical milestones. When children are enrolled in an early childhood education program, their teachers will be constantly monitoring their progress and can alert you if they believe they are not meeting certain milestones. Being aware of these issues sooner rather than later can allow you to seek additional help if needed.
Social Skills Development
When children are a part of an early childhood education program, they learn how to socialize with their peers and adults. This is one of the benefits of early childhood education that serves as a life skill that they will need and use as they make friends, share, listen to others, and express their ideas.
As children learn social skills, they also learn how to work with others. Teamwork is a vital skill that children need during their adult lives. The more they can learn how to collaborate now, the better off they’ll be. Of all the benefits of early childhood education, teamwork is one that requires your child to work well with others, which is undoubtedly a life skill they will need regardless of their profession later in life.
Literacy skills and numeracy skills are a big part of early childhood education. Children can learn about numbers by singing, listening, or playing music. When it comes to literacy, listening to stories and talking about pictures can help to teach skills.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children who are read to frequently are more likely to count to 20 or higher compared to those who are not. They are also more likely to write their names, read, or pretend to read. While it’s important for children to be read to at school, it’s equally important for parents to continue at home. The more a child is read to, the greater the benefit.
Promotes Physical Development
Early education not only helps with brain development and literacy skills but also aids in physical development and overall well-being. Childhood education centers promote physical activities as part of their programs along with their lessons. These help to develop motor skills, such as sports activities, and can help to prevent childhood obesity.
For many children, going to an early childhood education center is the first time they are spending significant time away from their home and family. This can help children to develop confidence and self-regulation. Self-regulation skills, including regulating their emotions, are vital to helping children learn how to become independent as they grow.
Research has shown that children who participate in early childhood programs are more likely to graduate from high school, pursue higher education, and get well-paying jobs. These types of positive outcomes help to boost the economy with qualified workers who will contribute to society.
What to Look for in an Early Childhood Education Center
Now that we’ve outlined nearly all of the benefits of early childhood education, let’s discuss what you, a parent or caregiver, should look for in your little one’s education center. Each childhood education center has different qualities. As a parent, you want to find the center that best suits your child’s needs. Here are some key factors to consider:
Syncs with Your Values & Education Beliefs
Each child is unique. What works for one child may not work for another. Look for a program that meets your child’s needs and aligns with your values. Explore the curriculum, activities, teacher qualifications, and safety measures. Look to see that the curriculum teaches the areas that you find most important. Also, check to see if the staff is experienced and accredited.
One of the best ways to determine if an early childhood education center is a good fit is to schedule a tour. This will allow you to see the facility, ask questions, and hopefully observe a class to see first-hand how the program operates.
Small Class Size
We all know that children have short attention spans. This is one of the reasons why you want to be sure that classes are kept small. This allows teachers to provide each child with the attention they need and deserve to thrive. At Primary Beginnings, one of our favorite benefits of early childhood education that we tout is the fact that we have a small student-to-teacher ratio. That way, each child can receive the care they deserve, ask questions, and learn in a small and conducive environment.
Finding a center that is conveniently located is key. Many people look for places that are either near to their homes, work, or both. This makes it easier for drop-offs and pick-ups, as well as in the case of an emergency.
Parents are not shy when it comes to their children’s education. If they have a problem or don’t like a program, they’re likely to speak up loud enough to be heard. Look at the reviews for the centers you are considering. Check to see what parents have said both positively and negatively. This can give you a good insight into the program. Also, ask around town to see what others’ experiences have been.
Are You Looking for a 5-star Preschool in Raleigh? Contact Primary Beginnings!
Were you aware of all the benefits of early childhood education? We realize that the benefits are immense and could go on forever! Primary Beginnings offers quality early childhood education at all three preschool locations in Raleigh. Our 5-star childcare rating is the highest-rated childcare license, so you can feel confident that your child is in the hands of experienced professionals who will provide a solid base for their learning. Contact us today to learn more and request a tour of one of our [link id=13]three preschool locations near you!