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Five Tips for Enriching Child Development #QualityECE

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After High School, I knew that I had a passion for education. When I first started College, I began my journey towards a degree in Early Childhood Education. Throughout my College years, I spent my days working as a teacher’s assistant before becoming a preschool teacher. I knew that I wanted to work with younger children because I wanted to be a part of helping to give kids the best start in life. To me – it was the most rewarding experience.

I learned that 90% of a child’s brain develops by the age of 5, making the early years the most critical time to enrich a young child. According to First 5 LA, many parents are not aware that the first five years of their child’s life has such a significant impact on the future of their success. To help, First 5 LA has launched “Quality Child Care Last a Lifetime” campaign to help inform parents about the life-long benefits of quality early childcare education.

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In this tough economy, there are many family dynamics where both parents have no choice but to work full-time. Finding a daycare where your child will get the best opportunities, stimulation and education is one of the biggest challenges for working parents.

I was grateful for the opportunity that many parents gave me to care for their children. Getting to be an integral part of their children’s development was such a gift. One thing that I always encouraged the parents of the children in my classroom were the importance of continuing to foster their love for learning outside of preschool.

These are my five tips for enriching your child’s development at home:

1. Read to your children every day. Children and parents can gain much pleasure and satisfaction sharing books. It is an easy way for parents to give attention and affection to their children; to soothe them and help them to feel loved and special.

2. Get close to nature. Bringing children on walks around parks and trails opens up a world of learning for children. Count the steps with them while walking (math), point out the changes in plants and trees (science) and spend time talking with your children (social/emotional skills). Taking walks can be one of the beneficial ways to encourage the development of young children.

3. Bring your kids into the kitchen. Inviting children to participate in cooking can teach them a wealth of knowledge. They will not only learn healthy eating habits, but can learn science, math, social skills and more. For younger children teach them math by helping with measuring ingredients, and cause/effect by showing them the before and after of food. Cooking with your children also helps to create a family bond with your children and lifelong memories.

4. Get messy!! Find a muddy hole and just let the kids explore. Sensory skills are crucial for a child’s development. Parents can purchase water tables to put sensory items in, but a bucket or box is much more economical. Fill a large tub with various items such as rice, dried macaroni noodles, cooked spaghetti with kid scissors, sand with trucks and more! Get creative and have fun watching your children learn through a full sensory experience.

5. Art!! Starting my children with art was one of the best things I could have done for them. They were able to express their emotions through their art and learn many valuable skills. Turn on classical music while your children are doing art further enriching the experience. Step away from coloring books or worksheets, and just let your children show the world through their eyes on a blank white piece of paper with a paint brush in their hands.

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President Barack Obama in his recent State of the Union address affirmed that “study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road,” highlighting the crucial role quality early care and education plays in shaping a child’s future.

Have fun staying involved and being an integral part of your child’s education.

This is part of a compensated campaign with Smith New Media and ReadySetGrowLA.org. However, all opinions expressed are my own. Facts, photos and video about First 5 LA were provided in press materials.

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6 Comments

  1. It’s so important to have quality child care! Thank goodness for programs like Ready Set Grow LA

  2. “90% of a child’s brain develops by the age of 5.” My kids are now 8 and 10 and I worked very hard those first 5 years so maybe now I can heave a sigh of relief. Thanks!

  3. Sounds like an amazing program. Such a must have for kids.

  4. The first 5 years are so important. Loved your post.

  5. I’m a true beleiver of early childhood education, My oldest is 5 and my youngest 4, so I’m still trying to do my best/

  6. This program and alln of first 5 is so great! It’s a great resource for ftm.

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