When it comes to the development of a child’s brain and social skills the best choice is to enroll them into a childhood learning center as opposed to a regular daycare. However, it is always best to read the fine print, and get to know the establishment before you commit to sending your children there because technically a daycare center can be listed as an educational center. In any event, a facility that focuses on education more than merely babysitting can prove to be much more effective for a child as they grow and begin to branch out in the world.
What is a Childhood Learning Center?
As with any other industry on the planet there is always going to be establishments that are out for the money more than anything else. The difference between a learning center and a daycare can be in word only, depending on the center itself. A learning center is a place that focuses on providing a structured program that teaches children motor skills, life skills and learning skills before they even reach a school.
The ideal environment for a learning center is a place that is staffed with skilled people that actually care about the development of the children that are a part of their program. On that premise, the children that are part of the learning facility benefit the most because the staff truly focuses on teaching the children life skills.
A reputable learning center will have a distinct curriculum that aligns with the learning standards that fall under the criteria of the age group that the child falls under. Not all children learn the same, see the same, or have the same personalities so there is a bit of leeway for each child as an individual to learn at their own pace and go at their own rate. There is no need for forcing or shoving a child into any position that they will not thrive in.
What is a Daycare Center?
This is where things get a bit tricky. A learning center can be a daycare center as well, if the daycare center is geared towards educating the children more than for babysitting purposes.
A traditional daycare center is a place where parents can drop off their children on the way to work so that somebody will look after them. When parents work full time jobs there is no room to be able to keep an eye on the kids during the day and keep them safe. A daycare provides a safe, and responsible place for kids to be while their parents can’t watch them.
The goal of a daycare center is more about providing a place for the children than providing mental stimulation and education. A daycare could consist of the children watching television, or playing with toys all day long with moderate supervision.
Some daycare centers are more in line with educational goals than others and provide a planned out curriculum that schedules activities, breaks, and learning exercises for the children throughout the day.
So, as we mentioned earlier, if you find a place that you think will benefit your child, look at the fine print and learn what they are all about before you decide to keep them or chuck them.
Learning Vs Sitting
Many scientists believe that a child starts to develop emotional patterns at a very young age. What this means is that when they are in the early stages in life, the things that they do to occupy themselves and cope with stressful situations could be part of their behavior for the rest of their lives.
If a child is put into an environment that they are unfamiliar with and do not have their parents around to make them feel safe they will act much differently than they would normally. Given their own choice they may be more prone to simply watch TV or play with toys. If this is what they do all day long while their parents are at work, they will learn a destructive pattern that could cause many problems later down the road.
If given the same circumstances where the child does not feel safe and is in unfamiliar territory, a compassionate person takes the time to guide the child towards a higher state of learning and introduce them to activities that make them think, the odds are that a positive pattern will begin to make itself visible and could help to keep the child on the right path later in life.
Ultimately, the child will one day have to think for themselves and make their own decisions, but if they have a solid foundation to stand on where they understand what choices they actually have it could be extraordinarily beneficial for them when life begins to get complicated.
What are Child Age Groups?
As we talked about earlier, children are different from each other in a plethora of ways. One of the largest properties that set them apart is age. The way that a toddler learns is going to be much different than an infant does.
This is why children in learning centers will be broken up into sessions based on their age group. Depending on the capacity of the facility, children as young as a couple of months old can be present. A well-qualified learning center will be able to care for children up to the ages of 5 years old.
Generally the age groups will be classified as:
- Preschool 1
- Preschool 2
Infants are children that are anywhere between 0 and 12 months old. They will need the most care, and the way that they are taught will be different. Mostly the babies at this age will be learning the early stages of socialization and response to different stimuli such as music or voices.
Toddlers are ages between 12 and 30 months. As many people are aware, this is when life begins to get interesting for them, and anybody that has to keep an eye on them. They begin to walk and discover a new way to explore the world. When children are at this age they begin to be able to communicate, and how to write and scribble with pencils or crayons. The learning curriculum will be more advanced and start to introduce real-world education.
Preppers are between 30 and 42 months old. These children are at the age where they can begin prepping for school and other life events that will be in store for them as they continue to advance in their lives. This stage will be introduced to arts, mathematics, and self-control.
Preschool 1 is when the child reaches three years of age. As they become more cognitive in their ways of thinking topics such as language and proper communication become stepping stones and focuses of learning. Mathematics are explored on a little deeper level, and early writing skills are established.
Preschool 2 is between 3 and a half to 4 years old. As each phase of growth continues to make its way forward, the children will be progressively challenged and monitored. Preschool to takes on a different phase of learning because it begins to focus on listening skills as part of communication.
Pre-Kindergarten is when children reach the age of between 4 and 5 years old. When a child is classified as pre-kindergarten it means that they are already enrolled into school and will be starting when the next school year starts. They will learn more about reading and phonetics. They will also be introduced to more complicated topics of mathematics.
The best bet is to ensure that when you leave your child at a place for the majority of the day that the time they spend there is not wasted, or transformed into a pathway towards negative behaviors. When there is an option between simply watching a child, or giving them an opportunity to learn and grow, always choose education. They might thank you for it someday.