The formative years of a child’s life lay the foundation for their future learning, growth, and overall well-being. In Australia, early childhood education (ECE) is instrumental in ensuring children get the best possible start to their lifelong learning journey. With a strong emphasis on nurturing cognitive, social, and emotional development, ECE is essential for setting children up for success.
What is Early Childhood Education?
ECE refers to the structured educational programs and experiences designed for children from birth until they enter school, typically around five or six years old. These early learning programs can take various forms, including childcare centres, preschools or kindergartens and even family daycares.
At its core, ECE provides young children with a solid foundation for cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. By integrating age-appropriate learning activities, creative arts and play, these programs aim to nurture children’s curiosity and encourage an ongoing love for learning.
Why is Early Childhood Education so important for Australian children?
A child’s brain develops rapidly during the first few years of life. They are like sponges absorbing all information provided to them. The early years are a period of significant ‘wiring’ within the brain, effectively programming the child’s development. A high-quality ECE program can stimulate neural connections for healthy brain development while targeting various areas like cognitive, language and motor skills.
ECE programs allow children to interact with their teachers and peers. They learn essential social skills, such as respect for authority, sharing, cooperation, communication, empathy, and even conflict resolution. These interpersonal abilities set the foundation for confident social interactions throughout life.
ECE prepares the little ones for formal schooling by giving them a head start in literacy and numeracy and honing their problem-solving skills and concentration. When children enter primary school with these skills, they are more likely to adapt quickly to the big school environment and excel academically.
Ensuring all children have access to quality ECE can help narrow the achievement gap among children from different socio-economic backgrounds. It can reduce inequalities in their academic and social lives and improve long term outcomes.
The Queensland Government has recently taken a giant step to provide quality education to our little ones by investing $1 billion over the next five years in kindergarten funding -this is currently in effect. Parents and carers are encouraged to take advantage of the child care subsidy (CCS), which is increasing from 85% to 95% starting 10 July 2023.
Participating in ECE programs can help build stronger home-school connections. It fosters positive attitudes toward learning and promotes a sense of learning continuity within the home environment for children. It also provides parents with resources and guidance to support their children’s development.
Early Childhood Education’s Impact On The Society
Queensland and the entire country continue to recognise the undeniable impact of early childhood education. Investing in these early years significantly benefits not only individual children and their families but also contributes to building a brighter future for Australia as a whole. When we start raising good, well educated children, we will have amazing adults who contribute positively to our society.
Amaze offers programmes underpinned by the Early Years Learning Framework, encouraging your little ones to express themselves, gain confidence and independence and develop holistically. Our indoor and outdoor play spaces offer safe, sensory-rich environments where your child can explore and discover the wonders of their natural environment. Amaze’s vibrant childcare centres across Australia are all government-approved and with university-qualified Early Childhood educators.
We would love to be part of your little one’s early learning journey! Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.