When asked, "Should our family invest (i.e. pay tuition) in our children's early years of education or wait until "it counts" when they're in high school preparing to go to college?" Emphatically I say, "Invest in the early years." This is an incredibly difficult question for anyone to answer knowing that each and every learning stage is valuable; however, when posed with ranking when education "counts" most, it is absolutely and definitively during those first years of life, and here's why.
Positive Impacts On Learning Success
Cognitive research shows, across all demographics, that early, stimulating, high-quality early childhood education programs have lasting, positive impacts. An early education program that provides knowledgeable educators, builds nurturing relationships and presents experiential learning is equipping a young child to build a strong foundation for social and academic growth, in preparation for school and for life.
Builds A Strong Foundation
The early years are literally when our brains are built as ninety percent of a brain's physical volume develops as early as five years old according to the First Five Years Fund (FFYF). A child's capacity to learn is at its height; therefore access to a high-quality program with instructors who are well-versed in early childhood development and design open-ended opportunities for young children to explore, begin to make connections that stimulate physical, motor, social-emotional, and language development.
A Nurturing Environment Creates A Sense Of Belonging
Before those connections begin, however, a connection to and sense of belonging at school must be established between the child and teacher as well as the parent and teacher. These relationships are nurturing and dynamic, focused on a child's parent
An Enriching Curriculum Encourages Learning
Ripe for learning, a child's curiosity drives sensory exploration. Through touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight a child experiences optimized learning. For example, a child is given mallets to use as tools to make music on an object, or instrument. As he touches and taps the tools, he realizes sounds are made, more importantly, sounds are made by him. He then sees another child, with similar tools, and hears other sounds. Together the children explore cause and effect while experiencing the music they are making together. The learning potential is powerful and abundant.
Discover Sanford School's Preschool Program
At Sanford School, every learning stage is valuable and every learner's experiences are as unique as each student; however, I know in my heart and research proves to my head that the most important investment we can make for our children and for our future begins early. Early education is the most important investment a parent can make. Come see what learning looks like at Sanford School!
Libbie Zimmer is the Head of Lower School at Sanford School, a Preschool–12 private