Early childhood development is absolutely fascinating. From their physical achievements to developments in their brains, there’s a lot going on inside those tiny little bundles of joy. But amongst all the cuteness and amazing celebrations of ‘firsts’, there’s a lot to think about as a parent. From choosing the right pre-school to making sure they have enough stimulation at home, parents are constantly worrying about whether they’re doing what’s best for their children.
So to help you relax and enjoy those precious moments with your little toddler, we’ve crafted together the top three things every parent should know about early childhood development.
Every child develops at their own pace
It’s easy to get bogged down in worrying about all the important milestones. From crawling and first steps to first words and recognising shapes, there’s a lot to take note of. But perhaps the most important thing to note is that every child is different and every child will develop at their own pace.
Not only do girls and boys develop at different rates but there are also several other factors that could mean that your child might take a little longer to take their first step than other kids in their preschool. So don’t worry too much about comparing your child to their siblings other kids in their class. Don’t get hung up on what your child can’t yet do, they will most probably catch up when they are good and ready.
Outdoor play has endless benefits
Humans were made to be outside, so it stands to reason that children benefit from a bit of fun and play in the fresh air. From developing curiosity and encouraging exploration to aiding mobility and motor skills, letting your child play outdoors has all sorts of fantastic benefits. And it doesn’t have to be limited to just play. Gardening and planting fruit and vegetables can also help children to build a relationship with healthy foods and encourage better nutrition later in life.
In Australia, we’re blessed with fantastic weather most of the time. So all things considered, any respectable day care or preschool centre should have an outdoor play area and you shouldn’t settle for any less. So whether you’re looking for an infant day care preschool center in Kariong or a preschool in the centre of Sydney, make sure you find one with outdoor facilities.
It’s never too early to start school prep
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean reciting maths times tables to your 3 month old baby. And it certainly doesn’t mean you should ignore our first tip in this article. But rather, it means that a proactive approach to preparing your child for school life could be beneficial to their overall development.
If this concept scares the living daylights out of you, the good news is that you can get this kind of help from professionals. A good pre-school will have a school readiness program built in to their every-day practices. Again, this isn’t about maths tests and exams but rather about setting up the foundations for future learning. This means helping your child to develop social, emotional and cognitive skills that they will need as they transition to school life. From building their confidence to teaching self-help skills such as using a lunch box, a school readiness programs will prepare them for the next step in their academic learning.
You could read books about early childhood education until you’re blue in the face. There’s thousands if not millions of articles available online and countless papers on the subject continuously being written. But when it comes to caring for your child, perhaps the most important thing is your intention. And by reading this article, you’ve already proven that you have good intentions and want what’s best for your child. So with that in mind, you can give yourself a little break, sit back and relax knowing that ultimately, everything else will fall into place.