There is much debate regarding the effects of early learning centres on children’s development. However, it is widely accepted that the first five years of a child’s life are the most crucial for their development long-term.

Why The First Five Years?

High quality early learning is essential in the first five years as children’s brains are rapidly developing, with 90% of brain development having occurred before children start primary school. In these years, their learning sets up their basic foundations for their long-term cognitive, behavioural and emotional and social wellbeing.

Early learning centres use highly qualified educators to provide quality stimulation and nurturing through play-based learning. This encourages the development of creativity and imagination.

What Are The Long-Term Benefits For Children?

High quality early learning centres’ programs will have noticeable effects in children’s cognitive and behavioural traits almost immediately, encouraging language, pre-literacy skills in addition to social and emotional skills. However, there are many long-term benefits that will only be observed longer down the track during a child’s school life and beyond. The main five will be explained below.

Academic Performance

There is strong research behind higher academic performance in primary and high school in children that have attended early learning centres during the early years of their development. This is as a result of high quality early education that focuses on activities that build cognitive abilities.

Research indicates that by boosting their academic development for at least one year of early childhood learning, increases a child’s chance of achieving higher results in literacy and numeracy in primary school and reduces their need to access special education instruction in higher school years.

What are the figures I should be aware of?

  • Children who do not attend an early learning centre are 50% more likely to start school vulnerable in cognitive and behavioural developments compared to their peers, making it more difficult for that child to keep up in class.
  • Children who spend three or more years in early learning centres perform better than others in Year 4 maths, science and reading in addition to higher performance in literacy and numeracy between 11-16 years of age.
  • Children who have attended early learning centres between the ages of two to four years of age are more likely to experience higher test results in high school.

Increased Enthusiasm For Learning

Along with improved academic performance, early learning centres boost additional skills that improve the longevity and quality of a child’s long-term learning. As a result of participating in activities that stimulate creativity, children are more likely to be curious and confident, thus building resilience while completing challenging tasks. This will be highly valuable for children during their higher education.

How Will This Lead To Success In Education?

From a child’s learning in early learning centres, their cognitions will be moulded to understand what determines success and failure. They will also be able to understand that attaining achievements are only reaped by effort and will experience working alongside other children in a fair and equal way.

This will allow them to settle in more easily into school and acquire long-term interests in learning different things including stimulating their interest in a variety of areas such as music, dancing, singing or sport.

Life-Long Effects of Motivation To Learn

This early learning focus on motivation and high aspirations for learning is shown to persist long-term even after school. Research shows that children who have experienced early childhood learning are more likely to graduate high school and finish their Higher School Certificate (HSC) with lower behavioural issues and attend higher education after school. This will enhance their knowledge and support their success long-term.

Increased Focus & Commitment

The structured programs led in play-based learning environments in early learning centres have been known to lay vital foundations for long-term focus and commitment to tasks in children. Early childhood learning can create upward mobility for children long-term where children can avoid disparity in achievement by learning earlier rather than later.

What Is the Long-Term Importance Of Learning This So Young?

  • Research shows that children who have completed early learning education are more likely to complete school and less likely to have attendance issues.
  • Children that experience completing tasks in early childhood learning environments have improved attention spans and are more skilled at balancing the ability to listen, participate in group tasks, work autonomously and follow direction.
  • Research indicates that children who attend early learning are better able to manage their behaviour and normally have lower levels of hyperactivity.

Ability To Follow Routines

Along with increased attention spans of children as a result of early childhood learning, they also develop long-term behavioural traits that allow them to understand the concept of routines and be inclined to follow structured approaches. Children will go through experiences of socialisation that indicate appropriate behavioural responses that children will carry with them long-term. For example, understanding to wash hands before eating or hanging their coat up in the morning before free-play.

What If My Kids Already Seem To Understand Routines At Home?

Even if children understand routines and follow this accordingly in their home environment, their experience of routines in an external environment under the instruction of non-family members is a very important experience for children in their early years. This will increase their ability long-term to understand the concept of rules and how to follow them effectively.

Enhanced Social Skills

By attending early learning centres in a child’s early years is very beneficial for them to understand how to build emotional maturity required to build strong relationships with others.

Research has found that children who have received quality education from early learning centres have experienced a lasting positive effect on their social skills. This early learning allows children to understand how to listen to others, express their ideas, be responsible for their actions, share with others, and engage in teamwork.

How This Will This Specifically Help Long-Term?

By experiencing social relationships outside of their internal environment children are exposed to other children and adults from diverse backgrounds. This will enable children to develop the core social interaction skills to make friends and positive relationships with authority figures other than members of their family.

Establishing these crucial social skills will be essential for their formative educational years and their ability to construct and foster healthy relationships and emotional choice throughout their life.

Besides all the great long-term cognitive, social and behavioural benefits of children attending early learning centres, above all it is a very fun and engaging experience for your child. They get to make great friendships and participate in fun and exciting activities all day, without even realising that it is forming the building blocks for their success in the future!

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