According to neuroscience research, 90% of a child’s brain develops before the age of five, highlighting the importance of high-quality preschool programs for students’ life and academic outcomes.
Studies also show that children who participate in quality preschool programs from the age of three or four, are more likely to arrive at school equipped with the social, cognitive and emotional skills they need to engage in learning.
As Term 1 approaches, the NSW Department of Education has launched a new video content series, titled: ‘Children Starting Strong’, with the aim of encouraging parents to send their children to preschool.
The series includes preschool students from across metropolitan and regional NSW showing off their creative little minds with big ideas by answering some of life’s most meaningful questions.
Dr Sandra Cheeseman, senior lecturer in the Department of Educational Studies at Macquarie University, said adults can learn a lot from young children through their experiences.
“Children show us how much they know about things that are important to them. They are curious and eager to learn about their world and share their ideas,” Dr Cheeseman said.
“Watching how children interact at preschool illustrates how they enjoy being with friends and creating opportunities to try out new things and learn from each other.”
Dr Cheeseman added that for parents, finding the right balance and what works best for their child is the key with childhood early education.
“There are a range of factors to consider to ensure your child gets what is needed from their individual experience in a preschool program,” she said.
Research shows that access to at least 15 hours per week, or 600 hours per year, of quality preschool in the year before full-time school is linked to higher levels of educational success, greater health and wellbeing and better employment opportunities later in life.
“Children who are experiencing disadvantage gain the most from quality early childhood education and we need to work together to ensure all children have these opportunities,” Dr Cheeseman said.
“Each child who attends a preschool program has the opportunity to experience the life-long benefits of making friends, learning new things through play, increasing independence, participating in new routines and feeling confident about starting school.”