There is already widespread research and consensus among early learning experts that children significantly benefit from attending at least two or more days a week of high-quality early learning.
But a lesser-known fact among families is the positive outcomes that can be achieved when children attend those two or more days consecutively.
Penny Markham, Goodstart’s National Lead for Social Inclusion says that attending multiple days in a row provides a whole range of benefits for children.
“Grouping the days children attend together allows them to quickly get comfortable and familiar in their environment, especially for those children who may struggle with separating from their parents,” she said.
“It also provides the time and space for them to develop deeper bonds and friendships when attending with a consistent group of children.
Penny says consecutive days can help to create an environment where children can really thrive.
“Young children tend to thrive on having consistency and predictability in their routines.
“It helps them to know what to expect and to anticipate what is going to happen each day.
“It also allows them to build on their play ideas from the previous day with their friends, teachers and educators, which allows for deeper learning to occur.”
Penny says it’s not just great for children, parents also find the continuity and routine of consecutive days helpful in busy family lives.
“Feedback from parents is that they find the transition into childcare less overwhelming when their children are attending two or more days together”.
“Parents have shared that their children seem to settle more easily when they attend two or more consecutive days because they know what to expect and don’t have to keep learning to settle in”.
“And if you can anchor those consecutive days to a weekend (e.g attending on a Monday or a Friday) it can give a child even greater routine and consistency, reducing some of the anxiety and behaviours you may see if they attend mid-week".
Ultimately however it’s about laying the foundation for success in learning and later life.
“All children benefit from high quality early learning and this can be even further enhanced by them attending consistently for two or three days in a row.”
“Children attending regular patterns of care feel safe and comfortable in their environment which in turn gives them a sense of belonging.
“This is fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes of the curriculum and inspiring that all important love of learning right from the start.”
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