Which pre-school you choose for your child can make a huge difference to their developmental outcomes now and through primary school, according to experts.
Rod Soper, founder of Thinkers.inq – a new early years school for three to five year olds – says research conducted on over 3,000 children showed that a higher quality education at pre-school level resulted in positive effects in development well into upper primary school.
“There are a noticeable difference in outcomes on a child’s intellectual and social/behavioural development from a high quality early education,” said Mr Soper.
“Choosing the right type of early learning environment can make a significant difference in how your child progresses,” he said.
“Parents can adequately prepare their pre-school aged children to ease them into their next life-stage step; into mainstream school and the years beyond.”
Mr Soper suggests a number of areas that parents can look out for when considering a pre-school for their child.
- Check the educational qualifications of staff. Research shows that employees with higher qualifications have higher quality outcomes and children under their care can make stronger progress.
- Is the teacher-to-child ratio adequate? Having the right number of early childhood, degree-qualified teachers to the number of children can ensure each child receives the attention and support they need to develop their personal best.
- Is social development considered equal to educational development? It’s been shown that where both social and educational development are considered complementary and equal in importance, children can make all round progress.
- Does the environment encourage ‘sustained shared thinking?’ The use of open-ended questions and adopting ‘play with purpose’ encourages independent thinking and curiosity – both vital skills for lifelong learning.
- Are parents encouraged to be actively involved? Early learning centres that actively involve parents and encourage shared outcomes and goals, while providing individual feedback, can greatly enhance a positive outcome for a child.
The Thinkers.inq early years school will open in Sydney’s Terrey Hills in July 2014 with more to follow.
It offers an early learning program based on ‘sustained shared thinking’ and highly qualified educators have been recruited to offer a ratio of teacher to child four times above the national average. Parental involvement is also actively encouraged.
Mr Soper said the Thinkers.inq concept was based on providing ‘best practice’ teaching and high quality environments that provide optimum beneficial outcomes for young children.
“It is our aim to educate a nation of bright young minds that can go forward into the world with confidence,” said Mr Soper. “We aim to give every child the very best start by equipping them with skills for life.”
For Thinkers.inq enrolments and enquiries, please contact: www.thinkersinq.com or call: 1300 697 737.