Posted on: 28 June 2018
Child care is much more than a drop-off point for your toddler during the work day. While the daycare center does offer a valuable supervision service, it's also a learning space where your child gets their first taste of a formal education. And that means this early learning environment is preparing your child to eventually transition from preschool to kindergarten.
Even though your child won't be ready for kindergarten until age 5, that doesn't mean they aren't developing "school readiness" skills as a toddler. Take a look at some of the soon to be used in school abilities that your young toddler is developing right now.
Language and Literacy Abilities
Your 2-year-old may not have an extensive vocabulary, but that doesn't mean they aren't learning new words every day. During daycare your child has plenty of opportunities to interact with other people, including both teachers and children. Verbal interactions provide your toddler with the chance to practice language skills. Not only are they speaking, but they're also listening. This gives your tot the chance to hear new words, discover new ways of speaking and practice the give and take that's necessary for effective communication.
Along with verbal communication, child care also provides your toddler with the opportunity to explore and experience books. Whether it's paging through picture books or listening during story-time, your child is building skills that they'll eventually use as they prepare for kindergarten.
Visual Arts Content
Arts and crafts may seem like pure play. While artsy activities are playful, they're also perfect starting points for kindergarten readiness. As your toddler scribbles with crayons they're building fine motor skills that will help them to become a writer later on (as they develop their motor and cognitive abilities).
Not only do the visual arts provide a way for your child to start writing, but they also help your child to better understand language, problem solve and think critically. Looking at the illustrations in picture books, viewing posters or going on a field trip to a museum all require your child to decode symbols. This can translate into the type of thinking they'll need as they learn to read, comprehend text and think on a more abstract level.
Kindergarten readiness doesn't only include reading and writing skills. Being ready to start grade school also means that your child is able to understand, control and appropriately express their feelings. It's not likely that your toddler is a master of their emotions.
Now is the time to start building emotional abilities and helping your toddler to develop a more mature way to handle strong feelings. Even though they may still have tantrums or act out when they're frustrated, sad or mad, as your child practices patience and starts to identify emotions (before acting on them), they'll move towards school readiness.
Don't worry if your toddler isn't mastering every skill that they learn at daycare (or at home). Chances are that your tot has at least three years of child care days before heading off to kindergarten. Use this time wisely, helping your child to build on the skills they're learning at school. Ask their daycare teacher what you can do at home to reinforce language, literacy, arts, emotional/social and other concepts. By the time your little learner is ready for kindergarten, they'll be well ahead of the game.Share