What is your child learning at daycare? When you drop your child off at the center, you know that the loving teachers will supervise and care for her. But that's not all. Child care centers are also places where early learning happens. Even though it might seem like your little one is spending the day building with blocks, finger painting, and doing all sorts of activities that you would think of as simple child's play, she's actually developing essential skills that will help her now and later on.
Your child's daycare center is the first place where she'll learn valuable math skills. Younger children will develop spatial reasoning abilities, learn about shapes, and discover patterns while playing with blocks. The child care curriculum may also include activities such as learning how to count or even add by using small items such as toy cars or plastic animals. As your child gets closer to leaving the child care center for kindergarten, it's likely she'll have the opportunity to start drawing shapes and writing numbers (0 through 10).
Even though your little learner can't read by herself, she's getting exposure to books and letters in print. Her daycare teacher is reading to her, helping her to understand language use, communication, and how books work (such as reading left to right). Your child is also learning to recognize letters. She'll start with the ones that are familiar to her, such as the first letter of her first name, and move on from there. She may also start tracing or writing a few letters before she's done with the daycare years.
When your child finger paints, plays with clay or colors with crayons, she's building creative thinking skills. She's not just using her imagination during art time though. Other activities, such as dress-up or pretend play experiences, also help your young child to get creative. She'll create her own imaginative scenarios, and act them out. This encourages independent thinking and lets her practice the problem-solving skills she's developing.
Young children are curious about the world around them. It's this natural sense of curiosity that the daycare science curriculum builds off of. Young children learn about basic biology (plants and animals), physics, Earth science and chemistry through kid-friendly experiments and discovery-focused activities. This might mean that your child gets to pour baking soda and vinegar together, watching how the two combine into a volcano-like burst. How else can young children learn about science? There are plenty of ways! Nature walks, looking at plants with magnifying glasses, playing with prisms, and mixing colors are just a few different ways that science plays out in the early childhood classroom.
Daycare is more than a place where your child goes while you're at work. It's an early learning environment where your little one can make discoveries, explore, and build skills that will last a lifetime. For more info, contact a school such as Mountainside School.