The Foundation of Knowledge: Advancing Child Development at Early Education Centers

According to Harvard University, scientists, practitioners, and other professionals in early childhood development have discovered, after much research, that there are three key principles an early education center or childcare facility should implement to maximize a child’s development and success later on in life. The Harvard article says, “When caregivers are responsive and create a stable environment, children experience less stress and have a strong foundation for positive learning, health, and behavior.”

The three principles, according to the article, are as follows:

  1. Support responsive relationships for children and adults.
  2. Strengthen core skills for planning, adapting, and achieving goals.
  3. Reduce sources of stress in the lives of children and families.
(List courtesy of harvard.edu)

“The word ‘education’ comes from the Latin ‘educere’ = e- (out of) + -ducere (to draw). Education is not just about putting information in. We have forgotten that it, in fact, begins in the child’s heart.”

~ VINCE GOWMON

The value of a positive environment in an early education center

Science has repeatedly proven that children who grow up in a positive, supportive environment are more likely to succeed in practically every area of their lives. As they are loved and nurtured by patient caregivers and teachers, children can concentrate their energy and attention on learning because their brains and bodies aren’t being bogged down by trauma or stress. Essentially, their capacity to learn and retain information increases.

“Every day, in a 100 small ways, our children ask, ‘Do you hear me? Do you see me? Do I matter?’ Their behavior often reflects our response.”

~ L.R. Knost

The difficulty of stress from home

Unfortunately, teachers cannot control what kinds of situations students are coming from (or going home to) each day. Some children live in difficult home environments or experience daily stress due to unhealthy relationships with family and friends. While this can affect a child’s ability to focus and learn at school, teachers can be a positive influence and a supportive voice in their lives. School should always be a safe place filled with people they can trust, not only to teach them what they need to know academically, but also to give them the warmth and support they need to grow spiritually, relationally, and emotionally.

“Love is the supreme form of communication.
 In the hierarchy of needs, love stands as the supreme developing 
agent of the humanity of the person. As such, the teaching of love 
should be the central core of all early childhood curriculum
 with all other subjects growing naturally out of such teaching.”

~ Ashley Montagu

The importance of a loving community in an early education center

You would think that a good education is based on curriculum or programs, and while those are incredibly important, we can see it is teachers who have the biggest impact on kids and how they learn. Teachers must be committed to caring for the children in their class with love, respect, and kindness.

Coincidentally, Jesus was a teacher and demonstrated all these characteristics (and more!) as he taught his disciples and followers about Himself. If we want to see our children develop and grow, we ought to imitate Christ and the way that he taught. He was patient and understanding. He was thoughtful and considered his audience before tailoring the lesson specifically for them. He used stories and illustrations to get his point across. As a result, his “students” were eager to learn and respected his teaching.

“Either we spend time meeting children’s emotional needs by filling their cup with love, or we spend time dealing with behaviors caused from their unmet needs. Either way, we spend the time.”

~ Pam Leo, Connecting Through Filling The Love Cup

Contact us at Smoke Rise Childcare today.