Early Education

Early EducationI am a Director of an early childhood center. I wanted to take the time to inform the community, particularly the parents of the community, of several opportunities that exists right in our area. Early Education! I am aware that the parents of this community are heavily involved in the welfare and of the achievements of their children. From the moment of their birth they are beginning to learn and collect information, even while still in their mother’s womb. Education plays a large role in our children’s welfare, now and later in life. I would like to make you aware of the different opportunities that there are available in this community, that will allow your child to be in an educationally enriched environment. If you haven’t heard of the term Early Education, let me share with you some background and research on the subject.

Common Misconceptions

In the past when people heard the word childcare, they may have automatically thought of a place that simply watched over your child while you were at work, or tending to some other duties, and at one time that may have been the case, but so much has changed in the course of 30 years. Early education centers are held to much higher standards than they were back then. Early education Programs, follow a steady flow of rules and regulation that dictate how we are to go about our day to day business and with that we implement a high functioning curriculum that addresses and guides the teacher’s lesson planning, assist them how to better target a child’s strengths and address any potential delays which will result in bettering the outcome of the children.

Research

Research shows that when children are exposed to early learning experiences before they turn five, they have long term benefits and their school readiness scores are substantially being risen. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said, “High-quality early childhood education and full-day kindergarten are fundamental to a student’s long term success and shouldn’t be determined by their parents ‘income… {It}is the right thing to do.” One well-known study, the High Scope Perry Preschool Study, found that individuals who were enrolled in a quality preschool program ultimately earned up to $2,000 more per month than those who were not. Young people who were in preschool programs are more likely to graduate from high school, to own homes, and have longer marriages. With all the different resources available to parents now, it would behoove the parents of the community to take advantage of this opportunity.

Support

The State of Florida offers its support to Early Education Programs through various means. OEL (office of early learning) offer pilot programs which allows programs to potentially strengthen their staff, by investing time, teaching, and funding, the training they provide largely enrich the teacher’s knowledge of the field. Which is in turn put back into the classroom instruction.

Coalitions also contribute greatly to the success of such programs. Adding assistance to Educational Centers and Institutes providing collaboration with those related in the field, planning meetings and hand in hand working with families through their child’s formative years. They also provide health screenings for children, to identify any potential delays that may hinder a child’s cognitive growth. Along with vast resources that contribute to the overall success to Individual programs.

Unique Opportunity

There are a few aspects of early education programs that benefit families on a more personal level. One is that from the time you drop off your child to the time they leave, your child is in an enriched learning environment. Early educators are taught to not only scaffold the classroom environment to encourage higher learning, but consciously use each moment of the day as teachable moments. by actively scheduling in their lesson plans well laid out strategies that target different areas of learning, such as cognitive, social emotional, physical both large motor skills and fine motor and language skills.

Another thing that is unique to Early Education Programs is that, the amount of time in which we have the children. Most Programs have the ability to stay open for a longer period of time, opening early in the morning and closing later in the afternoon. This gives parents a more flexible time to arrange their affairs, and give the children an opportunity to get more hands on experience, which they largely need at that particular age in life. It prepares them for what they will encounter later on when they come of age to enter public school.

Calibration between Professionals

Collaboration between teachers continues to be essential when it comes to children leaving the preschool program, and entering Kindergarten. The Preschool teacher really become, the voice of the child when it comes to what strengths, and weaknesses that may exist. The kindergarten teacher will have a better view of the child’s potential, and can use the information that’s been collected to aid in his, her assessment and planning. The information shared on each child can really go a long way in ensuring the ease of transition. If we continue to see collaboration between Professionals, it will help in easing the transitional period, when entering Kindergarten.