Setting the Stage for Your Child’s Future Success

Parents are always looking for ways to create a great future for their children. From providing a safe home to educational toys, as well as the best books and rhymes stacking the shelves, is there anything a parent wouldn’t do?

Well, in setting the path for your child’s future successes, we suggest that aside from providing for your children physically, the best thing you can do is to provide them with a great preschool experience.

But what is the right time to start preschool? As a parent, it is common to ponder on the best time for a child to start preschool. We recommend assessing the progress your toddler has made in each of these developmental milestones below, to help you make that decision.

What to look out for in Physical Development
By age 2, your child would be indicating a certain prowess in body movement. Be it in climbing, throwing, kicking and running (amidst some tripping and falls). They should also have some motor-coordination skills and be able to hold their utensils or stationery in a manner proper to their age. Preschool can help further develop these physical abilities. Additionally, a child who has achieved these physical milestones may find it easier to navigate the new physical environment at preschool.

What to look out for in Social Development
Social development often occurs alongside a child’s emotional development. As infants grow into toddlerhood, their innate curiosity will begin to show through their interaction with the environment and those around them. Keep an eye out for learned behaviour from parents or caretakers. These are also indicators that a child is ready to absorb new information, and can benefit from preschool. At preschool, toddlers gain significant academic advantage from a structured learning programme. Through engagement with educators and other peers, they also learn to regulate their behaviour and establish a positive relationship with others.

What to look out for in Emotional Development
As parents, the ‘terrible twos’, is a familiar term. At age 2, temper tantrums in children are common. Because toddlers lack understanding and social skills, they may express their emotions the only way they know how; crying, shouting and even kicking. However, it is also the age where they slowly learn to communicate their wants and needs to their parents with basic verbal and non-verbal skills. Preschool can help a child better express these emotions and enhance their communication skills through extra-curricular activities, and collaboration with other children and educators.

What to look out for in Cognitive Development
Cognitive development in children includes focused attention, as well as growth in logic and reasoning. Playtime is one of the best ways to observe your child’s cognitive progress. It’s where they are able to explore and figure out solutions to the everyday challenges they face. A child displaying signs of positive cognitive development also benefits from the prepared learning environment at preschool. Children are given countless opportunities to boost cognitive abilities.

Early Childhood Education for Your Child’s Further Development

As a parent, you may also be questioning other benefits of early childhood education at such a young age. Isn’t a comfortable home a more suitable environment for a child’s growth and their subsequent future successes?

Let’s take a more elaborate look at how children develop in their cognitive abilities, as well as physically, emotionally and socially.

1. Cognitive Development
In the early days, infants were believed to lack any form of thought until they learned a language. Today, it is a commonly known fact that babies start learning from the time they take their first breath, constantly trying to make sense of their world.

In a preschool environment, learning goals are set for each class. As the children work with each other and an educator, their ability to think and reason begin to develop as they analyse, compare, organise and develop solutions to problems.

While cognitive development is unique to each child, preschool educators use these milestones to better gauge a child’s abilities and structure the learning process for them.

2. Emotional Development
Emotions are the emergence of complex feelings that affect one’s thoughts, behaviours and moods. In emotional development, a child begins to understand, express and regulate emotions within their capacity in order to fully interact with others.

At home, a child takes centre stage and may not be able to experience what it’s like to share toys. But at preschool, a child will explore and engage with other children, collaborate on goals and learn to manage their emotions in a positive way. They begin to form and sustain good relationships with their community, by learning to listen, understand and express themselves with confidence.

3. Physical Development
Children experience exponential growth in the early stages of childhood. However, physical development refers to a child’s ability to control their body which includes the muscular system and nervous system. Gross-motor skills refer to the development of large muscle movements such as the arms and legs whereas fine-motor skills refer to precise movements of the hands and fingers.

A preschool environment provides many learning opportunities for a child’s overall development. Aside from a set curriculum, children are also given opportunities to play. The balance between organised learning and unstructured play is essential to enhance the learning and developmental growth of young children.

Unstructured play
‘Playtime’ or unstructured play may be understood as fun to parents. However, playtime is a critical time for children to learn interaction with their peers, develop observation skills, make mistakes (while learning from them), and build on their strength in their core, arms and legs!

Guided play, arts and crafts
Building a solid foundation for a child to excel in formal education starts with arts and crafts. Painting, colouring and building crafts aren’t just another fun activity, it’s a great opportunity for children to build on fine motor skills.

4. Social Development
The process by which a child learns to interact with their environment and those around them is called social development, and it often comes hand-in-hand with emotional growth. As a child develops individuality and social skills, they learn to communicate their wants and needs, resolve conflicts and build a positive attitude.

Preschool environments provide many of these opportunities for children throughout the day as the children learn, work and play with each other.

The early years of childhood education rely heavily on creating a warm and trusting relationship between a child and their community. The community encompasses those with who the children interact with the most: parents, peers, and caregivers. By providing a positive and loving environment, children build a sense of self-confidence.

Another important factor of a child’s overall development and self-esteem is the prepared environment. A child should be able to complete a task with full confidence, which is why every tool meant for a child should be within reach. This vital component means that the classroom or play area is conducive to learning, while also providing opportunities for a child to engage with others.

Through these small but meaningful acts, a child is able to gain and boost their confidence while building trust with their peers. This ‘trust’ enhances their understanding of another’s emotions or ‘empathy’, boosting their emotional development.

Setting the stage for your child’s future successes

Now that you have a clearer understanding of how preschool can set the stage for your child’s future successes, check out the Montessori approach at TCH and the significant benefits it offers preschoolers! Click here