Every child ought to be afforded the opportunity to acquire at least a fundamental education because education is an essential component of a fulfilling life. There are a variety of factors that can influence a child's performance in school in Australia. They consist of the family's income, the question of whether or not the child attends preschool, and the type of instructional material used.
The amount of money that a family makes can be a barrier to a child's ability to receive an education. In addition, low-income families may be more likely to live in dangerous neighbourhoods or face other challenges, both of which may make it more difficult for them to provide their children with an environment that is stimulating and positive. Some parents with low incomes have multiple jobs, which prevents them from being able to devote as much time to raising their children as other parents, particularly those with higher incomes.
Children need to be conscious of what it is that they are learning so that they can continue to develop and acquire new knowledge in this ever-shifting world. The educational system in Australia has many facets, each of which can either help or hinder its future. There is no question that a child's parents are the single most important factor in their Australian education, but there are also a variety of other considerations that can impact a child's academic performance.
Schooling is one of the most important aspects of a child's early education because it enables children to cultivate skills that are essential for success later on in life, not only in academic settings but also in other aspects of their personal lives, such as in the kitchen or on the sports field. As a result, it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children go to school on a consistent basis, turn in their work on time, contribute to classroom discussions, and achieve satisfactory academic results.
Parents Have the Biggest Impact on Their Kids’ Education
How is it that in a country that is as prosperous as Australia, one out of every five children is considered to be at risk for their development by the time they begin school?
In addition to this, the issue is magnified twofold for members of disadvantaged groups.
Children who come from low-income families have a higher risk of having poor health as well as social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic issues. These issues can have a negative impact on the children's educational progress, literacy, numeracy, and long-term social skills, as well as their employment prospects, health, and ability to adjust and become criminals.
This can have repercussions for the rest of one's life; according to a report published in 2012 by the OECD, twenty per cent of Australians do not have adequate skills in basic literacy.
There are two facets of the child's early environment that can be altered, both of which play a role in determining the child's long-term outcomes:
- The degree to which families are able to provide their offspring with a safe and stimulating environment that encourages growth and development.
- A child's education and care outside of the family's direct supervision.
Parents’ Actions Matter More Than Who They Are
Studies with a longitudinal design have shown that receiving learning assistance at home and attending preschool have a positive impact on the development of literacy and numeracy in the early primary school years.
The cognitive, linguistic, and social-emotional development of a child was positively impacted, regardless of the parent's class or educational background, when the child had a parent who provided learning support at home. The research was conducted in the UK and involved the participation of 4000 children.
This can take the form of anything from reading to the child to taking them to the library, singing to them, reading them poems or nursery rhymes, or reading songs.
The significant impact of the early home learning environment was noticeable during the preschool years, when children started school and continued all the way through the end of schooling.
Enhancing Educational Opportunities Within The Home
The early home learning environment that some low-income families provided for their children has been an essential aspect in their children's later success when studying children who performed well despite the odds.
It is becoming increasingly recognised as one of the most important goals of society to narrow the educational achievement gap that exists between children who come from wealthy and disadvantaged homes.
It would be a worthwhile focus for policy to improve the home learning environments of children who are socially and financially disadvantaged. This would be done in order to boost children's development in the early years in order to support their later academic and social achievement throughout their lives.
Children who start school having had no preschool experience are at a developmental disadvantage when it comes to literacy, according to the findings of the UK longitudinal studies, which also found that children who had two to three years of high-quality early years education had similar effects on other cognitive and social outcomes. This advantage could be worth up to eight months of a child's life.
The quality of early childhood education and care was linked to the training and qualifications of staff, and research found a correlation between higher quality and better outcomes for children.
Where To Now?
Four-year-olds in Australia are currently eligible to receive early education for a total of 600 hours per year, which is equivalent to approximately 15 hours per week.
Expanding coverage of this programme to children aged three should be a policy priority. This would bring Australia closer into line with other countries, such as the United Kingdom, that are taking active policy steps to plan for long-term economic development by maximising the skills of their populations. This would bring Australia into line with countries like the UK.
The early year's workforce in Australia can be made more competent through in-service professional development and further recruitment of staff with higher levels of qualification. Although Australia already has a good early years quality framework, this can be improved upon to make it even better.
To improve the lives of the 40 per cent of children who are the most disadvantaged in Australia and to integrate all services, including healthcare, family support, childcare, and early education, in order to maximise the effectiveness of those services for young children and the families that care for them, Australia could look to model itself after the most successful countries in the world.
A population that is fully prepared to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving world would bring immediate well-being as well as long-term economic benefits. Such changes would bring about these benefits.
Why The Early Years Are So Crucial To A Successful Adulthood
Through the course of our lives, we all acquire new knowledge. It begins the moment that we are brought into this world. It is common knowledge these days that the formative years of a child are the most crucial for intellectual development. At that point, the groundwork for the future is laid, and we take our first steps along the path that will carry us through childhood, adolescence, and ultimately into adulthood.
What Exactly Do We Mean When We Talk About the Early Years?
The phrase "the early years" can mean a few different things depending on who you ask. Some people consider it to be the time period beginning at birth and ending when the child is eight years old; others consider it to be the time period beginning immediately prior to the start of school; still others concentrate primarily on the first three years of a person's life. In the life of every child, each of these stages is, without a doubt, an important one. No matter what term we use to describe those years, the most important thing is that we offer genuine opportunities for children to learn, grow, and enjoy themselves during those years.
What Factors Influence Learning?
Children are naturally curious about the world around them and are ready to learn from the moment of their birth. When they learn something new, it is only natural for them to make use of all of their capabilities. Children begin their lives as active participants in their own education and development from the moment they are born, learning about themselves, other people, and the world around them. There is no doubt whatsoever regarding the astounding amount that children are gaining knowledge. Spending some time with a baby, toddler, or child will allow you to observe the phenomenal leaps in capabilities, information, and comprehension that take place during the first eight years of a person's life.
The following factors can have an effect on a child's learning and development:
- influences that come from within themselves, such as their genetic inheritance, personality, gender, and health
- influences within the family, including family relationships, parenting styles and values, the family's financial situation, the parent's level of education, the parents' occupations, and the parents' physical and mental health
- influences within the community, including children's services (both availability and quality), support for parenting, housing (both quality and security of tenure), safety and crime in the neighbourhood, unemployment levels, and a general feeling of trust among the residents of the community as a whole.
- influences within their own culture; different cultures are characterised by different approaches to parenting, different beliefs and values, and different perspectives on how children should be educated.
What Have Researchers Discovered About the Significance of Childhood and Adolescence
It is common knowledge in Australia and the rest of the world that the first few years of a person's life are crucially important. During these years, the brain is in the process of developing, and much of its "wiring" is being established. The events and relationships that a child is exposed to, as well as their level of nutrition and overall health, can have a significant impact on this.
The brain grows in a healthy manner when it is exposed to positive experiences. On the other hand, seriously negative experiences such as neglect and abuse affect brain development in more harmful ways and contribute to emotional and behavioural problems later in life. These issues can be traced back to the individual's formative years. Therefore, the experiences a child has in their formative years can either aid in their educational development or impede it.
According to a pamphlet published by the organisation Zero to Three and titled Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth, the following is stated therein: "The brain is the only organ that is not fully formed at birth." On the other hand, during these first three years of life, trillions of connections are being made between different brain cells. The connections a child makes and the things they go through in their formative years have a significant impact on how their brain develops.
What Are Some of the Most Crucial Aspects of Education?
The foundation of every aspect of learning and growth is one's state of health and physical well-being. Early experiences shape a child's behaviour in many important areas, including eating habits, attitudes towards physical activity, and routines for self-care.
However, one of the most important things that children learn about themselves during their formative years is how to develop a picture of themselves that will influence how they approach any circumstance, undertaking, or relationship with another person. To put it another way, they construct an idea of themselves.
The image that they have of themselves as learners is an essential component of that self-concept. Is it acceptable to be inquisitive, to look into things, question oneself, take on challenges, attempt to work things out, or conduct experiments? Is it acceptable to put effort into something and risk failing at it sometimes? A good learner is one who is not afraid to try new things, acknowledges their capabilities, and is willing to take calculated risks.
Early childhood learning can be classified in a variety of ways, but no matter what the classification, it is critical that parents and others who work or live with children keep in mind the wide range of learning types that are critical in the early years.
The following is a list of some significant facets of education:
- the use of one's body, including one's hands, respect for other people, and the ability to interact appropriately with other people, including adults and other children
- how to resolve conflicts, problem-solving skills, communication, getting used to the things that make people different from each other, and self-knowledge (understanding of feelings, a sense of one's strengths, talents, and uniqueness), confidence, and a sense of belonging to family, community, and culture are all important.
- how to care for and look after yourself by behaving in appropriate ways and exercising self-control. how to look after and care for yourself.
What Kinds Of Things Should Young Children Have To Help Support Their Learning?
- adults who assist children in maintaining their health and safety.
- The most important factor in supporting a child's learning is the development of ongoing relationships that are positive, caring, and supportive. Every child has a need for other people, or at the very least for one person, who believes in them, cares about them, and wants to support them as learners.
- Because imitation is one of the most effective forms of learning, and since children learn best when they are surrounded by other people who are also learning, adults with whom they interact should be learners themselves.
- Adults who recognise the one-of-a-kind qualities of each child and who respect the child's emotions, requirements, and pursuits in life.
- assistance to learn how to control their behaviour as well as patient instruction regarding the types of behaviours that are acceptable.
- materials and experiences to learn from, as well as time to engage with those materials and experiences.
- chances to "be in the world doing things," as the expression goes. Children absolutely require active participation in activities that are emotionally significant to them. When there is a genuine need to know something, that is the optimal time for learning to take place. The best kinds of learning experiences include doing things like working with an adult in the kitchen, helping to wash the car, working in the garden, going to the grocery store, working in the garden, going to the park, or going to the beach. Opportunities for active participation are especially important for younger children. The phrase "hands-on, minds-on" is one that is used quite frequently. If used appropriately and in conjunction with the guidance of an adult, media such as television and movies on DVD, computers, and other forms of technology can be wonderful educational tools.
- books to peruse and stories to digest, stories to hear, and people to carry on intellectual and social exchanges with. The development of a large vocabulary and strong literacy skills can get off to a great and solid start with a passion for reading and the written word. Even before they are able to comprehend what is being said, young children can gain enjoyment and benefit from having stories read to them from the very beginning of their lives.
- time to get involved on a deeper level and cultivate relationships with other children and adults.
- encounters with other people. This could be something like a playgroup, a childcare or occasional care centre, a family day care home, a kindergarten programme, school, or care provided outside of school hours. For children to gain something positive from these experiences, they need to be of a particularly high standard. The relationship that exists between parents and professionals has the potential to offer additional assistance to parents in the process of child-rearing, particularly in situations in which services are colocated and function in an integrated manner. Children require encouragement, but they should not be "pushed" or put under pressure to learn things sooner than they would if they were not pushed. Instead, they should be given the opportunity to learn at their own pace and encouraged to do so. The best conditions for a child's intellectual development are created when caring adults collaborate with the child, cultivate loving relationships with the child, and explore the world with the child in ways that are both interesting and enjoyable.
The Value That Play Holds For Children's Education And Personal Growth
Play is one of the most important ways for children to learn and develop, and learning through play is one of the most important ways.
Friedrich Froebel, a German educator who developed the idea of the "kindergarten," held the belief that "play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it is the only activity that permits the child to express what is in their soul freely."
It's possible that educators at the early childhood education and care service where your child is enrolled have mentioned to you that they take a "play-based" approach to the education and growth of children.
Children have a remarkable capacity for discovery, creative thought, and the ability to make choices when they are given the opportunity to play. Even though the play is frequently referred to as "children's work," the children have a great deal of fun performing it. Throughout their childhood, from infancy, all the way up through adolescence, children's play evolves both in terms of its content and its function.
It's possible that you've come to a conclusion that, as a parent, it's not your responsibility to force children to play or to offer them motivation to do so. This is likely due to the fact that children appear to be born with an innate desire to play, and since playing itself brings a certain level of pleasure and interest, it is possible for this urge to be satisfied without the need for additional incentives.
How Exactly Does Play Contribute to the Growth and Education of Your Child?
Physical development - Play that engages both large and small muscles, such as climbing, running, ball games, digging, jumping, and dancing, are all examples of activities that contribute to a child's physical development. This helps children maintain their overall health and sense of well-being, as well as their physical growth, appreciation for the benefits of active lifestyles, and skills for independent self-help, such as dressing or feeding themselves.
Social and emotional development - The development of positive social and emotional skills and values can occur through imaginative and dramatic play. This type of play often includes pretending to be someone else and dressing up in different roles.
The following are some of the opportunities that this affords children:
- Learn how to collaborate with other youngsters, discuss and debate various concepts, and select appropriate actions.
- Gaining mastery over difficult tasks and situations is a surefire way to boost your self-assurance.
- As they act out feelings and events that might be worrying them, they should learn to control their emotions, decrease their impulsive behaviour, or reduce their stress.
- As they learn to play alongside and with other children, they will develop empathy and a sense of fairness.
Cognitive development - The cognitive abilities of your child, such as thinking, remembering, learning, and paying attention, are all developed when they play both independently and with others, such as in a game. Through play, children can develop their cognitive abilities in the following areas:
- the strength that comes from using one's imagination and creativity
- concepts such as letter recognition, shapes, colours, measurements, and counting
- abilities such as concentration, perseverance, and resilience are advantageous.
Literacy and numeracy development - Literacy and numeracy are both developed through play because it requires thinking, language, interaction, and a desire to discover new things. Children learn a variety of skills and concepts through play, including the following:
- an increased comprehension of words and how to employ them
- listening and speaking skills
- Teaching oneself how to write through doodling, painting, and drawing
- Understanding how narratives are constructed (plot, characters, structure, purpose and format of words on a page)
- Learning that things can stand for other things (a block can be a symbol for a telephone), which is foundational learning for formal reading, spelling, and numeracy because letters, words, or numerals are all part of symbol systems, is one of the first steps in becoming literate.
- discovering that everything from letters and words to symbols and numbers and signs all have a function and a meaning for other people.
What Does Learning by Playing Look Like?
Instead of using structured 'lessons' or other formal teaching experiences, educators at early childhood education and care services use a wide variety of play-based experiences to facilitate the learning and development of the children enrolled in their programmes. They organise age-appropriate games both indoors and outdoors, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to participate in a way that is both safe and enjoyable.
The following are some of the ways that educators encourage children to learn through play:
- In order to stimulate and support children's play, providing resources that reflect children's ages, interests, knowledge, strengths, abilities, and culture is essential. Children's creativity and their capacity to mentally manipulate concepts can be encouraged by providing them with resources that allow for open-ended use of items such as blocks or cardboard boxes. As an illustration, you could make a car out of a box.
- The planning of children's play experiences on the basis of an evaluation of each child's unique characteristics, interests, and needs at various stages of development. For instance, when a child is learning how to hold a pencil to draw and write, educators will give children objects of varying sizes to grasp in order to build the child's finger strength and prepare the child to eventually hold a pencil.
- observing children as they play in order to gain an understanding of how children interact with one another while playing, the abilities and knowledge that children demonstrate while playing, and the types of activities that can help children improve their abilities to play.
- Participating in children's play to enrich the child's education and to serve as a role model for skills such as logical thinking, age-appropriate language, and constructive behaviours
- allowing children to have large chunks of unhurried and uninterrupted play time in order for them to develop their ideas and games.
What Are Some Ways That You Can Help Your Child Learn While They Are Playing?
The development of solid foundations in children beginning in infancy is critical to their future academic success. Learning through play develops important skills, understanding, and attitudes that are necessary for your child's continued education and well-being throughout their lives. You can foster your child's intellectual growth by providing them with:
- Your educators will be better able to plan play experiences for your child based on their interests and abilities if you provide them with information about your child's interests and abilities.
- interacting and having fun with your kid
- Talk to the educators who work at your child's service about the programme for your child as well as the games and activities that your child enjoys playing and participating in.
- putting forth efforts to ensure that your community's play areas are both safe and engaging.
- Parents' education.
- Family income.
- The number of parents in the home.
- Access to books and play materials.
- Stability of home life.
- Going to preschool.
- Quality of child care.
- Stress levels and exposure to stress (in the womb, as an infant, and as a child)
Family is almost certainly the most important factor in child development. In early childhood especially, parents are the ones who spend the most time with their children and we (sometimes unwittingly) influence the way they act and think and behave.
Children who take part in early childhood education programs have improved social skills and do better in school. They also learn essential life skills that stay with them forever. Most importantly, preschool is a place where children have fun in a safe and loving environment.
In terms of human development, the importance of early childhood education can't be overstated. A child's early years are the foundation for his or her future development, providing a strong base for lifelong learning and learning abilities, including cognitive and social development.
Those who work in the field of early childhood education are accountable for the care and education of young children. The areas of study that are included in this career path place an emphasis on both the cognitive and social development of students, and they include a wide variety of activities that encourage students to make the most of their potential.