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How to begin your search for the right play school for your toddler?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Preschool should be an opportunity for development and not be used as getting them ready for primary school. The curriculum implemented needs to be based on brain research where learning is fun, engaging and stress free. The developmentally appropriate activities, equipment and physical environment promotes social, physical, cognitive and language abilities. Lina Ashar, is the chairperson of Kangaroo Kids Edu Ltd and is considered as a global pioneer in education for children. Ashar, shares with The Afternoon D&C some of the important questions a parent is concerned about when it comes to playschool.

What is the right age to send your children playschool?
The right age is anywhere between 1.5 to 3 years as Brain research shows that an average child is born with about 100 billion brain cells. An infant’s brain develops rapidly from birth to three producing 700 new synaptic connections every second.

Experts state that toddlers need support to stimulate their learning at a time when their brains develop at twice the rate of adults. If they are not stimulated enough in the years before starting school, the brains can set back by decades.

Factors like child’s relationships, experiences and environment influences the development of the growing brain.  All these factors need to be considered while deciding a preschool to ensure there is no stress or push to achieve academic success.

Toddlers’ brains need stimulation
To make the most of these ‘light bulb’ years when toddlers brains form connections at double the rate of adults it is important that they are provided with learning experiences that nurture them in a high- quality preschool.

How do I choose the right school for my child?    
Nature provides a blueprint for each child’s potential development and children need quality bonding time with human beings to nurture them. Selecting the right preschool is critical for future academic, social and emotional success and taps the potential for laying a strong foundation for lifelong learning. A preschool programme which understands the “windows of opportunity” and designs the activities accordingly is conducive for learning. These windows are neurological wiring timetables when the child is more primed for learning for e.g.  A child is primed to learn reading skills and vocabulary. If this period is missed or we wait till the child can talk we miss the ideal time to create a foundation in reading and learning.

Preschoolers thrive when there is consistency in the trust they have in adults at home and school. Hence nurturing relationships through an ideal teacher child ratio is important in preschool for children to develop a personal connection. This ensures that Preschoolers need structure which is invisible for emotional security. At the same time they need choices to develop decision making – hence a high- quality preschool that provides a blend of free and structured play does not stress the children. Here the facilitators ‘follow’ the child.

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