Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Guest Post: Early Childhood Education by Emily Patterson

DISCLAIMER:  This article in no way represents my own opinions, thoughts, or research.  I am in no way involved with Primrose Schools.  This article is representative of its authors only.  I was not compensated in any way for posting this article.

Early Childhood Education
LACKING SPICE?

If you're one of the few parents who are able to stay at home with your children, you
are among the truly fortunate as many parents are forced to enroll their children in some type of
child care program.

Those who are fortunate enough to stay at home to raise their children typically wish to take
full advantage of this opportunity by attempting to give their children a head start on learning;
reading to them, engaging in educational play activities, encouraging them to read, and more.
Unfortunately, very few parents are able to touch on all of these areas.

This is where young children can benefit tremendously from attendance at a certified child care
center, operated by trained, certified early childhood educators. While a teacher cannot replace
a parent, the experience of learning in a school setting during the early years can be a valuable
supplement to a child's experience at a time when the brain is most flexible and is rapidly developing.

SPICE

This is where trained, certified early childhood educators can "fill the gaps" when it comes to a
young child's development. For example, were you as a parent aware that there are five equally
important areas of a young child's development? These are summed up by the acronym, "SPICE"
– Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative and Emotional.

Social development involves the way a child relates to others and functions in a group setting.
This development is especially crucial for those children who come from a home without other
children. The importance of socialization in a structured environment is something that a
preschool environment can help young children with.

Physical development refers to building motor skills, from the gross, like running and walking,
to fine skills like holding and pen or pencil.

Intellectual development is often achieved through structured play, and of course means
development of language and math skills. This also includes the child's innate sense of curiosity
and wonder.

Creative development addresses artistic talents in visual arts, music, storytelling and even
theatrics. Believe it or not, it is the foundation self-expression and problem solving.

Emotional development is frequently overlooked, even by the most devoted parents. Yet, without
a sense of self, including self confidence and the discipline to deal with one's own emotional
responses, a child will have difficulty functioning in society later in life.

The Professional Advantage

It is likely that most parents are aware of these developmental domains on an instinctive level.
However, certified preschool educators are trained in the scientific theory and methodology thatcan make the difference between a child succeeding – and succeeding brilliantly.

So if you are forced to send your young child to a preschool program, be sure to take the time
to do the research and find a good fit for your child. By sending them to certified educators you
can help them develop skills that will help them later in life, things that can be and are central to
success in school later on.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the network of Austin child care
facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose educational child care
schools. Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to
delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their
preschools.

Let me know if you found this article to be informative, helpful, annoying, valuable, inaccurate....whatev.  I'd like to know! :)


3 comments:

Kayla said...

Hmmm not sure my feelings! Just skimmed at work but I must say I'm not sure I agree that kids who don't go to preschool will have unfilled developmental "gaps". Seems like a bit much too me. But love the guest post idea! Love you!

Roxanne said...

I pretty much agree! I haven't studied the subject and I also have nothing to compare my kids to...but I'm glad to know that someone who HAS studied up on the subject agrees :)

Danielle said...

Well, I'm going to school to be a teacher. I've taken all of my TECA courses, and have studied a whole lot of child development. It is my personal decision to keep him out of daycare. I do not trust people with my child that I do not know. Also, I have heard many stories of children being mistreated at daycares. The only "daycare" my son will attend will be CCA because I know the people and trust them. It is just too hard to find quality childcare these days. I am so glad that Texas is cracking down on this, though. Maybe in the future I will allow my other children to go to daycare, but for the time being...absolutely not.

As for the educational benefits, the only thing a daycare could give my child that may be a little more difficult for me to give him, would be socialization. I can give him everything he needs. I know what he needs to learn and know. There are good parents out there that are able to teach their children. However, for those parents that are not able to provide for all of their child(ren)'s developmental needs, yes, I would recommend a childcare program. I just think it is a little "out there" to say that parents can't do the same thing a daycare can. Parents know their children better than anyone. (or they should).

Anyways, sorry for my novel rant. I just have kind of strong opinions about daycare.