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The Most Important Years for Your Child’s Development

The Most Important Years for Your Child's DevelopmentThe most important years in a child’s development are from birth to age five. Children’s experiences and relationships that are formed during these years determine how their brain develops. In fact, by the time children reach age five, 90% of a child’s brain is already developed. Preschool is the perfect place for your child to build the connections needed for healthy development and successful future.

Preschool plays a pivotal role in your child’s development. During this key developmental stage, children are excited about learning. The short and long-term benefits of preschool, such as an easier transition to kindergarten and improved social skills, make it an opportunity that should not be overlooked. Preschool helps lay the foundation for the rest of your child’s educational career and shapes their view of the school.

The Benefits of Preschool on Child Development

Preschool teaches children a number of foundational skills that are used the rest of their lives. One of these skills is executive functioning, which is the ability to manage thoughts and emotions and stay organized. Executive functioning helps us make good decisions and accomplish tasks.

Other skills that children learn in preschool include language and literacy, counting, sharing, expressing thoughts and feelings, and recognizing colors and shapes. The Perry Preschool Study found that preschool has significant effects that last into adulthood. The study found that children who attend preschool have a higher chance of graduating high school and a lower likelihood of a criminal record in adulthood. They are also more likely to have a higher income as an adult.

Preschool Fosters Learning During Key Developmental Years

Although children will eventually learn the skills they need without VPK, preschool is the best environment to foster early learning. Children have experienced teachers to guide them in activities and get them involved socially. Preschool activities include singing songs, working together, playing, doing art projects, reading stories, and doing simple science experiments. These activities engage children’s minds and help them practice motor skills, listening, and the importance of working cooperatively; skills that are essential for all aspects of their lives, including their future academic careers.

In the classroom, preschool teachers have conversations with children and ask them questions to help them develop critical thinking. Group activities allow your child to learn how to interact with their peers positively. From their time spent with teachers and peers, your child learns appropriate behavior, which carries over from the classroom to their lives at home.

A Critical Time for Learning

There are critical periods during brain development when the brain is more sensitive to environmental factors. If specific skills are not acquired during a critical period, your child may find them more difficult to learn later in life. For example, language skills can be permanently affected if children are not taught to communicate verbally during the critical period for language learning, from birth to age five. If children are not exposed to an environment in which they can learn, explore, and play during these years, they may not reap the lifelong benefits of this learning.

A Good Preschool Education is Important for Child Development

A preschool education provides a great opportunity for nurturing a child’s development during these important foundational years. Preschool is the perfect environment for your child to flourish, intellectually and socially. You may be nervous that your child isn’t ready or that they won’t do well in the preschool environment. These are all valid concerns but easily overcome. Give us a call at Dairy Road Discovery Center to learn more about how your child will thrive in the most important years of their development.

Related article: 4 Questions to Ask Preschool Directors



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