Supporting children to be ready for school
Uniforms, booklists, and backpacks might be on the checklist to get ready for school, but preparation should start much earlier, with research showing a range of benefits for young children who participate in at least two years of high quality early learning
prior to their transition into primary school.
Goodstart pedagogy and practice general manager Sue Robb OBE said the evidence is clear that two years of early learning
has more benefits than one year prior to school.
“Between three and five years old, children are experiencing a rapid period of development where they learn skills that set them up for school and life,” Ms Robb said.
“At this time of their young lives, the brain’s neural networks are rapidly connecting with each other, and as such the learning opportunities they have are vital.
“We know two years of early learning helps children develop social skills, a love of learning, and they tend to be more independent and make a smoother transition to primary school.”
Ms Robb said a play-based learning program
allows children to learn the importance of resilience, social competence, and empathy, while being actively engaged in physical activities.
“We know children learn best through play, because the learning is connected to each child, and makes it meaningful for them in their context,” Ms Robb explained.
Ms Robb said partnerships with families are integral to continuity of learning, which supports a successful transition to school.
“Starting primary school is a time of mixed emotions for many children and families as they move through this next stage of their education journey,” she said.
“Collaboration and communication between families, children, teachers and educators at both the early learning centre and school can help make that transition as smooth as possible. Educators can share information about children’s development
and unique needs with their families and their future primary schools, helping to provide a very supportive environment as children begin school.”
Ms Robb says the benefit of attending a Goodstart Kindergarten is our strong partnerships and local connections which enables us to provide holistic and targeted support to children who may need a little extra help.
“Being in a high-quality early learning environment enables children with additional needs
or those in vulnerable circumstances to have access to the additional support and specialist services they need to be able to thrive in the school environment.
“Our partnerships with allied health professionals and community agencies mean we can take a whole-of-child approach to support, ensuring they are able to start school feeling as confident and supported as their peers.”