It is easy for parents to end up underestimating the value of a good local daycare program, and when they are old enough, a quality preschool — the children are so young, aren’t these just places for them to socialize and play during the day? While unstructured play time and the development of rudimentary social skills are an important component, early childhood education also involves the teaching of essential skills, which can have a large impact down the road.
Enrolling your child in an effective local preschool program is integral to their future success; in fact, a study of at-risk children found that 60% were less likely to go to college if they never received a comprehensive preschool education. One of the most essential skills a child should learn before kindergarten is basic math. These concepts lay the foundation for a lifetime of logical, systematic cognitive tasks.
This learning can even begin in their local daycare program, as a high-quality daycare center will provide toys which can stimulate early spatial and problem-solving skills. Before starting kindergarten, it is crucial that a child is introduced to the following:
- Practical application of mathematical concepts: If a child is taught how to count in a purely abstract manner, they will struggle in school later in life. The lessons must be anchored in real-world objects. This can be achieved by depicting a representative quantity of an object the child is familiar with — dogs, for example — and explaining that they are seeing a certain number of dogs. This counting of actual objects need not wait until preschool; the staff in a local daycare program can impart the lesson using books or items in the room.
- Basic arithmetic: The natural step after learning the relationship between numbers and objects is learning to change the quantity. Place more items or take some away to introduce the concepts of addition and subtraction.
- Mathematic and analytic vocabulary: To ensure later academic success, children must have key words and concepts explained. These include descriptors such as odd and even and horizontal and vertical. Providing a proper base for understanding this language will make learning far easier.
For the best in Bergen County child care, bring your child to Lily Pond Country Day School. They will learn important math and reasoning skills so that by the time kindergarten rolls around, they will be ready.