Learning is essential for growing kids. Beginning at birth, it is important to engage children in learning. There is great potential for children when you are continuously building their knowledge and receiving recognition of their learning. This means that adults who interact with children must avail themselves of opportunities where they can foster
children’s learning in meaningful ways. When that happens, children become more confident to explore and discover.
Children often spend a great deal of time in child care. A quality child care provider partners with parents to help children acquire skills, build their knowledge, and develop close relationships with other children.
It is vital for all concerned to help children build their abilities and cultivate their natural motivation for learning. All evidence points to early learning as the key that opens the door to later success in life. The skills listed below assist children in developing a positive academic attitude and the ability to value learning. Studies show that when children have been involved in developing these talents early on, that they are more satisfied with school, have better school attendance, are more engaged in academic work, and in general – learn more. Studies further show that as children’s self‐awareness increases, they have more positive social behaviors resulting in a significant reduction in problem behaviors.
As someone involved in the most formative years of our children’s lives, look for opportunities to enable children to explore, build skills, and continuously learn. It’s more important than ever for our young people to be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, make sense of information, and play/work well with others.
It means that caregivers attentively and intentionally plan activities and/or strategies that guide children’s ability to:
- Develop their sense of self: communicate their individual needs, exhibit self‐control, ability to modify their behavior, build self-esteem, show initiative and play/learn independently.
- Develop their language and literacy skills: understanding (receptive) and communicating (expressive) language, building an interest in literacy through listening to, playing with, and using books.
- Develop their social skills: follow rules & routines, display empathy, respect the differences of others, form friendships
- Develop their cognitive skills: strengthen memory, decision making, problem solving, understand numbers, quantities, measurement, order, classifying, exhibit curiosity, interests, creativity, and inquiry
- Develop their physical skills: age‐appropriate large physical (gross motor) skills such as crawling, walking, running, climbing, skipping, and balancing; age-appropriate small physical (fine motor) skills such as grasping manipulating objects, hand-eye coordination, coloring/writing, and using scissors.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle: good hygiene habits, enjoy nutritious foods, and practice physical and personal safety.