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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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Rod Soper
Rod Soper
  • Living rurally, we didn’t have the choice of which pre school, or primary school or high school. We got what was available to us. Which is sad but understandable. No point having multiples when the population won’t support it

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  • I’m glad we got to choose as we had to choose one that had an a speech therapist and it did wonders so the choice was a correct one.

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  • Hmm, very interesting to think about =)

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  • One of the choices of being a parent is timing as to when to send them to preschool. Out in the country we have one choice and that’s if; we weren’t satisfied with that centre so two days a week we travel 30kms each way, to go to preschool. They are much happier


    • yes we have the say over their schooling for sure.

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  • Interesting article and points.

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  • it can be a hard choice when you have a lot to choose from

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  • I hate these sorts of articles promoting elite educational institutions, targeting families with money living in middle class areas.

    The government should adequately fund and resource public preschools for all pre-school aged kids across the country so that every single child has access to the best quality education, rather than wealthy parents being able to shop around for a place that might give their kids an advantage, while other families have no options at all.

    Something as important as the education of our kids should be a public matter, not one for private businesses charging $129 per day, like the one advertised in this article.

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  • We are extremely lucky to have a fabulous pre-school right on our door step with the best teachers!

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  • Not everyone has the luxury of being able to access the so-called best pre-school. Sometimes the closest one is the best option for practical reasons. Same goes for any schooling after too.

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  • Does this guy have children of his own or is he going by the studies he has done at uni…..or somewhere else ? In some cases the Mum tries to teach her children everything she knows her children should know at their ages, some even know how to read easy words and can write their own names quite clearly. That is more than a lot of children who attend Kiindergarten/ early learning centres/ preschools. Not all parents live near available services, especially in undeveloped areas. The only difference in some cases is they learn to interact with other children their own age.
    It is like back in the 1950s that some Education Dept. hieracy didn’t believe in anybody being left handed.

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  • a preschool that gets kids ready for big school instead of just promoting play will always be better for the child

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  • Pre school and childcare centres are great for kids to mix with other kids, make some friends and get prepared for school.

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  • My 4 year old is in preschool 2 days a week and the differences I see in him are amazing!

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  • Interesting read and some great dot points

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  • If you are planning on using a pre-school I suggest you register NOW. When I started what we call Kindergarten the staff asked my Mum if she had enrolled my little 2y.o. brother. Mum’s reply was “no he’s not old enough”. She was advised to enrol him, that she could take his name off the list later if she wished to. It was a new area that was growing quickly, 99% new couples / new families. There was bare land around us and you could see a house on a hill out of our kitchen window. You can’t even see the massive trees now.

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