Early childhood covers the period between when a child is born and when they attain the age of eight. These are the most formative years of a child and they determine a lot in regards to the character formation of a child. Childhood care is vital to child development because it influences a child’s character and the way they perceive different environments (West & Hausken, 2015). The human brain grows tremendously during this period. In return, this provides a window of opportunity within which parents and stakeholders in the health and education sectors can take initiatives, to teach and develop children by giving their brains stimuli that can help make them learn different skills that can help them as they grow up. While some people argue that childcare is not important and children should be left alone and develop at their own pace, I personally believe that early childhood care and education form a very important aspect of childhood education and for this reason; it should be mandatory for all children to receive good childcare.
As a single mother of a six-year-old daughter, it is my responsibility to come up with measures that would guarantee good childcare to my child. One major advantage of taking a child to childcare center is that these institutions give children a structured life that enables them to understand or get a feeling of how life is really about. These children are introduced to a structured environment that enables them to make friends and learn how to socialize. The teachers here are constantly teaching and encouraging the children to learn about appropriate behaviors and outcomes (West & Hausken, 2015). Even though the children might not be aware of the structured environment they are put in, it helps shape their socializing and learning experiences and this shapes their characters.
Another reason why childcare is important to children is that these institutions help promote a child’s cognitive and language skills. Lazar, Darlington, Murray, Royce, Snipper, (2016) argue that between the ages of 3 and 5 a child’s vocabulary is developing with estimates showing that it grows from 900 words to 2,500 words with sentences becoming more complex. For this reason, child-learning centers provide children with an environment where they can improve their vocabulary and learn how to express themselves. These centers encourage conversational games where teachers help in stretching the children language skills by asking them thought-provocative questions (West & Hausken, 2015). Different activities such as storytelling or speaking about a favorite animal or color to other children help improve communication and language skills. Concerning cognitive skills, childcare centers engage children in practical activities that challenge their minds and invoke critical thoughts that require the child to think deeply. It is important to mention that a young child’s mind is like a sponge that is ready to take in new skills and capabilities and that is why it is important for a child to attend childcare centers as they are bound to improve their cognitive learning ability.
Another advantage of taking a child to a childcare center is that these institutions promote a child’s arithmetic, reading, and comprehension skills. Children are and want to know different skills such as reading and math. Childcare centers help sharpen these skills through activities such as singing along alphabetical song along pictured charts. This helps children understand the connection between the spoken and the visual. Skills in math are introduced through counting games, sorting games, and matching activities that help a child to grow their understanding in numbers (Lazar, et al, 2016). Teachers are highly trained to teach math skills. They are trained to make math learning as fun as possible by coming up with activities that interest the children. For example, they may teach the children how to dial a phone number or how to pay for candy at a shop. These help advance and inculcate math skills in children.
Despite all these advantages, some people argue that childcare centers are not necessary, as they do not help in advancing child development in any positive way. One reason given for this argument is that in childcare centers children are able to meet different types of people some of whom they may influence them in a negative way. Even though this might be right, the parent has a responsibility to do a thorough background check on the childcare centers they want their children admitted to (Lazar, et al, 2016). This is very important, as it would ensure that children are only taken to good centers. One should also ensure that the center they want their children admitted to are licensed and supervised by the government. This would ensure children are admitted to a good institution where they can learn and improve their communication, cognitive, and socialization skills (Lazar, et al, 2016). For this reason, it is important for all parents to be encouraged to take childcare very seriously and to take their children to these learning institutions as they can learn more from them as opposed to when they are at home.
Lazar I, Darlington R, Murray H, Royce J, Snipper A. (2016) Lasting effects of early education: A report from the Consortium for Longitudinal Studies. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 1982; 47(2 suppl. 3):1-151.
West J, Wright D, Hausken EG. (2015). Childcare and early education program participation of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.
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