While many would say that for a child, education begins at birth, the first 3 years should be spent with mum, where the parental bond can grow. Then comes nursery school, which is a preparation for 12 years of formal education and when your son or daughter is ready for an early learning venue, here are a few essential aspects of successful early education programs to look for.
- Security – There should be controlled access where parents/guardians are given passes, with a secure perimeter around the campus. Video cameras should cover all areas and there would be a central observation point where all cameras can be viewed.
- Fun-based activities – Young kids need to enjoy the early learning experience and the daily program would include exercise, dance and lots of creative art. Every child should have at least 1 hour per day to engage in any of the provided resources; free play is a very valuable part of a child’s learning process and that should be evident in a daycare
- Qualified carers – There should be a combination of childcare staff; experienced and qualified early education professionals and trainees who work under supervision. Staff should be active by nature and able to motivate and guide the young children as they explore their surroundings. Child minding demands a special sort of person, someone with patience who guides the children and makes things fun!
- Educational resources – A top-rated early learning institution would have an impressive inventory of learning resources; natural materials are preferred, with games, toys and building blocks. There should also be outdoor play areas and an indoor soft room where the kids can release the unlimited energy they seem to have. The ideal early learing classroom would have activities and resources in the corners, where the children can interact with their preferred resource.
- Balanced diet – A quick look at the weekly menu plan should tell you if the early education program understands what a healthy diet is. Fresh fruits and not too much processed foods make for an ideal menu and no sugar content.
Your choice of early education program is obviously an important one, as you want the best possible learning environment for your child. Start with an online search and browse the websites, looking for all of the above. Then you can create a shortlist of venues to visit and that will ensure that you choose the best early learning program for your child.