The first twelve months through age 3 are pivotal years in a child’s life. Though children of this age won’t be ready to take on the world on their own for quite some time, their brains operate at a high level to absorb as much information as possible. Infants and toddlers make neural connections at an extremely high speed to make sense of the foreign world around them— a speed of over one million connections per second. This also means that their experiences during this time period can have a lasting impact on the ways they think and act later in their lives.
When it comes to ensuring that your child makes the right connections during those important years, an intentional early childhood education plan can pave the way for a well-rounded education.
Providing Growing Minds With Positive Experiences
As infants and toddlers are faced with an exciting world of new sensations, their brains are working hard to take in this flood of information. According to a recent neuropsychological study, the brain during these ages demonstrates “some of its most dynamic and elaborative anatomical and physiological changes.” In fact, 90% of the brain’s physical volume develops before a child even starts kindergarten!
As early childhood educators, we understand how crucial it is to provide infants and toddlers with opportunities to foster this transformative growth. Because of the malleability of a child’s young mind, it’s important that children between ages 0-3 have access to activities that can help build a strong foundation for their neurological development.
Our early childhood education curriculum at World Academy finds an optimal balance between activities that inspire creative thinking, collaboration with others, effective communication, and critical thinking to start our young ones on a deliberate path towards success.
An Environment That Fosters Growth
The best childcare professionals are experts at creating and executing a well-planned curriculum to support their early childhood education classroom and, along with it, the toys, tools, and other equipment necessary to foster a child’s integral development from 0-3.
At a quality school, children are positioned to get the most out of their experience, thanks, in part, to resources that aren’t always available at home.
When building our Infant Room, we prioritized safety so children in our care can explore, test new skills, and investigate their world without interference or disturbance. From there, we focused on crafting an interesting and developmentally-appropriate playground for our infants. Upon reaching certain developmental milestones, we also give our infants access to the Nursery Gross Motor Room to further enhance their range of motion and keep their minds active! Continued new stimuli reaps many benefits!
Similarly, our Toddler Rooms were created to give students the educational, social, and academic “scaffolding” they need to discover and progress at their own paces. Simultaneously, we give them access to activities and toys to nudge them closer to developmental milestones. For toddlers, this includes building their sense of independence, refining of their motor skills, and introducing creative methods of boosting their language skills.
Building A Foundation For Strong Social Skills
Our Early Childhood program setting is a wonderful opportunity for socialization. Children are able to get plenty of face-to-face time with educators and the other students in their classes. They can practice feeling comfortable in a group and practice their language and communication skills, all while feeling safe and nurtured.
Socialization becomes especially important for toddlers between 24-36 months. At this stage in their lives, interacting in a group setting will give them an opportunity to build empathy for others, understand the consequences of their actions, gain confidence as they build early friendships, and demonstrate “increasingly sophisticated social skills” by the time they reach elementary school.
It is in response to this strong evidence that uninterrupted playtime and socialization is a core tenet of our Infant and Toddler Programs at World Academy. While our professional educators monitor the classroom, we encourage our children to interact with others and practice navigating social relationships. As we’ve watched children in our toddler room grow into intelligent, well-mannered middle schoolers, we can personally attest to the positive influence that early socialization has on our students.
Preparing Children For Lessons To Come
For children with little to no classroom experience, their first day at kindergarten can be a bit of a shock. Going to school could seem completely foreign, and they may struggle emotionally and academically in such an environment. On the other hand, children who have familiarized themselves with this process from an early age are less likely to feel out of place. Having participated in an educational program to prepare them for kindergarten, they might find it easier to flourish than their peers who were not exposed to a pre-kindergarten curriculum. Positive, highly engaging activities—like those provided at a quality pre-kindergarten program—play a significant role in a child’s life as they continue to progress on their educational journey.
A Resource For Families When They Need It
At World Academy, we make it a priority to enhance our children’s learning while providing support to our families as well. Enriching the whole child extends beyond the classroom, and that’s why we strive to include families as part of the team.
We also acknowledge that every family is different. Each has its own unique needs and challenges, which we aim to accommodate to the best of our ability. For many of our families, early childhood education is not just a resource to engage their young child’s developing mind...It also provides parents with the freedom to choose the best path for their family, such as choosing a program that will help them care for their child when they return to work. In that case our high quality Infant and Toddler programs are there to help support that decision.
When families are able to make childcare decisions without worry, it impacts their child’s development significantly. Raising children in a happy, stress-free environment is as important as their education in setting them up for success. That’s why we’re proud that our early childhood education programs are there for parents, whenever they may need them! This supports our mission of family support and engagement!
Start Your Child’s Education On The Right Foot
As our experience has shown, quality early education can make a big difference in a student’s academic, socio-emotional, cognitive-intellectual, developmental, physical, and creative growth. We’ve seen, firsthand, how children blossom during their time in our Infant and Toddler Rooms and, time and time again, we have witnessed how the growth that our students achieved during their early education journey here became the “scaffolding” for their knowledge acquisition in later years.
If you’re considering enrolling your infant or toddler in one of our Early Childhood Education programs, we would love to talk with you about the transformative power our program has had on our students over the last 40 years. Schedule a visit today!