Evidence shows preschools and kindergartens are key to school performance
Every parent wants to give their child the best possible start in life. But what does that actually mean when it comes to early learning programs for your child?
Well, according to recent research
a quality kindergarten or preschool year can guard against learning difficulties and promote a child’s development in a number of ways. In fact, there’s plenty of indicators which point towards two years being even better than one
The evidence is clear and, according to this OECD report
, the benefits are long lasting with 15 year olds who’d attended early learning outperforming their peers who had not.
But before we go too deep, let’s clarify one thing: while the terminology may vary from state to state, when we say kindergarten or preschool, we’re talking about the year before school.
So what difference can kindergarten or preschool make for children entering school, and later in life?
Literacy and numeracy
Children who attend kindergarten or preschool have higher literacy and numeracy scores
than those who don’t. Entering school with a degree of ‘number sense’ provides a foundation for maths achievement too, and can be a strong predictor of competence later in school.
Social and emotional development
A high quality kindergarten or preschool program helps children enter school more socially and emotionally mature
. Learning new skills such as making friends and solving problems enhances social and emotional development, and equips children with vital life skills that support their future wellbeing.
also shows that children who take part in high-quality, play-based learning programs are more likely to have well-developed memory and language skills. Developing these skills at an early age will help them succeed through school and in later life.
Unfortunately, you won’t see these results with all kindergarten or preschool programs. The evidence is in, and it says quality counts
. So how do you know if you’re getting quality?
Well, there are many things you should look out for like the curriculum, the quality of the teacher, and the room environment. You can read more about what we think a quality kindergarten or preschool program should look like here
Australia has one of the lowest rates of early learning enrolment in the OECD
and with one in five Australian children starting school behind
in at least one developmental area, quality early learning has never been more important.
High-quality early learning, like you’ll find in the Goodstart kindergarten and preschool programs, really can make a world of difference.
Learn more about our approach to early learning here, and find a centre near you.