Published on June 19, 2023
As we seek to nurture strong and inquisitive children who will develop into positive adults, a huge focus for us is on preparing children for school, while also looking ahead to adulthood and to the early experiences that give children a solid foundation on which to grow.
That’s why our program focuses on letting children play while also introducing them to the structure of the education system from early years through to primary age and beyond. Keep reading to find out how we do this, and why we believe that finding a balance between education and play is so important for our youngest visitors.
Perhaps the most important factor in early years education is not only the ability to read and write, but rather the ability of young children to interact and communicate with those around them, allowing them to become their best selves. Some of the earliest and most crucial skills that young people learn include how to interact on a social and emotional level with their peers and those around them – building positive relationships and developing bonds with like minded individuals.
Early years education creates a positive foundation for the child, on top of which basic skills can be built as part of their development. When young people reach school age, it is this foundation which will allow them to easily fit into the school system and adjust to the social demands of the school environment. Not to mention, by facilitating an early interest in activities such as reading and writing as well as play, early years education ensures that young people are at the forefront of their peers and thus enter the school system with confidence and competence.
Early years education is about more than simply giving children a book or encouraging them to learn via educational tools online. It’s about connecting different aspects of their development in a way that is fun and memorable, and which integrates learning into activities which feel more like play.
The best way of preparing young people for school is to instil in them a series of life skills, covering emotional development and physical ability, basic classroom learning, and more. This means that the best approach to early years education is broad and varied in terms of the educational touchpoints – with the My Ohana team developing and designing new ways of integrating learning into everyday activities and games.
Of course, early years education is not without its challenges – many of which we see and work to overcome here at My Ohana through our various childcare programs.
Finding a balance between one-on-one activities and large group activities can be challenging for both the children and the group/program leaders, with every case different in that the complexity of this challenge depends on how many young people attend the program.
For the children involved, the concept of sharing the attention of an adult with other young people can be strange and unfamiliar, with the management technique for this challenge framing the way they will move forward into a classroom setting at school. For the educator, navigating the demands of multiple young people is something that comes with experience and training – something we seek to provide and support as part of our onboarding at My Ohana.
Similarly, managing early years education among children with different individual needs and skills at times can be challenging. This is something that our nurseries adapt to as required – bringing in extra team members and care extraordinaires to work with individuals if needed.
With all that said, how can early years education be integrated into a childcare program in a way that will engage and interest children?
Ohana means family – and you can join ours whether you’re a workplace seeking nursery support or a family in need of exceptional childcare. Bridging everyday care with educational development, find out more about our services and programs today.