Before the 1800’s, children entered their first year of school, usually at age 5, having learned to read and write at home. Their mothers did not work outside of the home or could afford tutors to provide this educational foundation. Unfortunately, this arrangement left the children of working parents ill-prepared for school. Working class parents couldn’t educate their children from their job sites. A Scottish philosopher named Robert Owen realized that, in order to produce a just and morally educated workforce, all children had to receive a basic education. Like today’s Mission Australia Early Learning, his infant school served infants born into the working class.
As is true in many countries, Australia’s early childhood education programs are optional and not compulsory. These programs provide play centered learning for children between the ages of 3 and 5 based on the premise that play works to stimulate curiosity and builds a sense of well-being. It is through play that this age group develops concepts and explores relationships. With this in mind, family day care centers provide early childhood education that supports both community and parental goals. This educational child care encourages children to make sense of the world through contact with objects, people and representations. In addition to providing a social education, Mission Australia’s family day care programs address a growing child’s nutritional needs, providing meals that fuel learning while honoring the cultural, medical and religious needs of the individual.
Early childhood education prepares young children for their educational career by acclimating them to a group setting, teaching them how to follow directions, and how to negotiate with their peers in a productive manner. It also gives educators the chance to address any emotional or cognitive challenges the child may have before those issues become permanent. Studies show that early childhood education:
Improves social skills- Programs teach very young children how to work within groups, how to verbally handle conflict, sharing and general civility.
Enhances attention span- Participating in an early childhood program trains the brain during its rapid growth phase, building a sound foundation for the extended concentration necessary for meaningful learning.
Improves performance- Studies show that 80 percent of early childhood education enrollees outperform peers who have not attended early education programs.
Family day care attendance can give your child a competitive edge, but you may wonder how Mission Australia’s program differs from others. After all, every program strives to build a solid foundation for learning in later years, but Mission Australia is particularly concerned with helping disadvantaged preschoolers and their families. If you need help with childcare fees, the early learning centre staff helps you find financial assistance through Australia’s child care rebate, child care benefit, and other fee assistance programs. With regular attendance, your preschooler can develop a strong sense of identity and well-being while developing the communication skills and confidence prevalent in successful, involved students.