Most children get the chance to experience nursery or pre-school before making that big step into big school. Whilst it’s not compulsory that you send your child it’s an important part of growing up and children learn valuable lessons whilst being there.
We all know that play is fun but when children are playing they are also learning all sorts of skills, and carrying out other tasks, which will set them up for life.
We believe there are many benefits to attending pre-school but here are just a few:
It is important for children to have the ability to build relationships not only with children but with adults, other than family members. Even though that may seem tough for parents to accept it’s a very important part of life. Pre-school allows children to interact with children and adults in a safe and secure environment which helps to nourish and grow them as people.
Children learn to play together and start to form stronger relationships with other children and become friends. Building on those relationships will help each child to grow and learn which will help other key skills to develop.
Socialising and communication is a key part in the development of young children. Learning to interact with other children will not only help them in the preparation for school but it helps develop those skills for their adult life.
It will also help with other things such as learning to share and making friends which go hand in hand. Children can begin to understand what sharing is and how to deal with it by communicating and experiencing those new feelings.
Communication skills are crucial for young children, they determine their powers of thinking and understanding. They also make them feel good about themselves and the two things are intertwined – feeling good about yourself and feeling confident enough to develop your thinking and understanding.
Preparation for School
Research shows that spending time in pre-school or nursery education enhances a child’s development and puts them in good stead for starting school.
All early years’ education providers follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework which sets the standards they must meet to ensure children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
Starting this framework in nursery or preschool helps the next stage of learning when starting school. The EYFS is followed through into primary school and gives children the knowledge and skills for being ready for school and progressing through school life.
All educational settings will have a routine and structure to each day. This is great as it provides children with a sense of security and helps them to predict their days. They know what to expect, and with that they become more confident in their learning settings.
Whilst pre-school is less structured that school, it still provides them with the understanding that there is a time for learning, time for lunch and a time for play and helps them to understand the concept of before and after – play time will be after lunch time etc.
Learning Through Play
Young children learn through play as it encourages them to explore, be creative, use their imagination and show interest in new things.
Every child should have access to a wide range of different play activities. This includes messy play, outside play, quiet time with books, arts and craft, role play, creative play and many more.
Learning through play is a term used in education to describe how a child can learn to make sense of the world around them. Play is one of the main ways in which children learn and because it’s fun, children often become very absorbed in what they are doing. In turn, this helps them develop the ability to concentrate and stay focused.
Learning through play will also help with sharing and understanding other people’s needs and desires instead of only thinking about themselves. They learn to consider other people and include them in their play which helps to develop relationships and friendships further.
Additional Free Hours
Childcare cost is a concern for many parents. All all 3 to 4-year-olds are now entitled to 30 hours’ free childcare per week. This free education can take place in nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools or with childminders.
Please be aware that 30 hours are free for only 38 weeks per year - not 52 weeks of the year. It's basically equivalent to school term times so for the remaining 14 weeks of the year you will need to pay for the hours used, or take your children out of pre-school.