19th August 2022 All Posts Leadership & Management Early Years Foundation Stage

The Unique Importance of Early Years Education

During the peak of the pandemic nurseries proved to all that they are the lifeline in both keeping people at work and the economy afloat – yet early years education is still massively undervalued. 

For those of us that work in the early years sector, we understand how important and influential early years education can be. However, the many benefits of early years education and the difference that it can make to a child’s learning and development are still often overlooked by parents, families and the government.

We must continue to share the unique importance of the early years and the role the workforce plays in shaping children’s lives so that parents, local communities and policymakers will come to understand this too…

In this blog we look at 6 benefits of early education:

  1. Early years education enhances the life chances of children and their families
  2. Improves social and emotional wellbeing 
  3. Improving communication skills and independence 
  4. Building ‘school-readiness’
  5. Parents are able to continue working once they have young children with all the benefits that brings for the individuals and their families.
  6. Children gain from positive early learning opportunities outside the home

Early years education  enhances the life chances of children and their families

The value that early years education provides to children is endless. Good early education enhances the life chances for all children, especially those that may be disadvantaged, from poorer homes with fewer opportunities. Early years education is beneficial in boosting children’s learning whilst giving them the invaluable opportunity to play and communicate with other children from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Early years education plays a vital role when it comes to social, geographic and economic isolation by giving parents the opportunity to work and study, raising families out of poverty and contributing to local economies.

Improves social and emotional wellbeing

The EYFS outlines that children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others.

Early years education has many benefits in aiding children’s personal, social and emotional development, such as:

  • Making friends and learning to establish connections
  • Learning to share
  • Turn-taking
  • Listening to others
  • Playing together with others in groups, as well as independently
  • Learning from their peers, copying and helping each other

Improving communication skills and independence

The EYFS states that “The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial.”

It is important for children to learn how to communicate their feelings and opinions by interacting with their peers and adults other than their parents. Playing with other children also provides the opportunity for them to gain a greater understanding of other people’s feelings and empathy. 

Being at nursery may be the only time a child has been away from their parents for a short period of time. This can be frightening at first, however, it gives children the opportunity to be independent, explore a new environment and make relationships, all of which are important for their long-term wellbeing.

Building ‘school-readiness’

Nursery and other early years education providers are considered beneficial in preparing children for school and easing their transition. Early years education settings provide children with activities, routines and skills that encourage school readiness. Nursery is extremely useful for getting children confident being outside of their own home, encouraging social development by enabling children to form key attachments outside their family unit.

Parents are able to continue working once they have young children with all the benefits that early education brings for the individuals and their families

As well as teaching parents about the countless benefits of early years education for their children, it is also important to inform them of why it is beneficial for them. Looking after children can be extremely difficult, especially if you do not get a break. Early years education gives parents the opportunity to have some alone time, focus on themselves, catch up with jobs and visit their family and friends. Having alone time is important for everyone, providing time to destress and reflect.

Children gain from positive early learning opportunities outside the home

When children are experiencing new things, learning new skills and enjoying their time at nursery, parents may feel less pressure. Sometimes parents may feel pressure to plan at-home activities to teach or entertain their children, with this being done at nursery parents can enjoy quality time with their children without any added pressure.

Spending time at nursery gives parents and children plenty to talk about. Even if the child only attends for a couple of hours a week, this will benefit their relationship and make their time together even more special.

Show parents the benefits of early education

We now live in a digital landscape where we are used to having access to information at the end of our fingertips. Give your parents instant access to information about their children throughout the day. Our award-winning early years app, Parentzone gives parents access to information about their child’s day at a time that suits them best. ParentZone increases partnership with parents by allowing two-way communication between parents and your nursery.

ParentZone provides parents with instant updates and strengthens communication between the parents and practitioners, helping to put their minds at ease whilst they are at work or home.

 If you would like to learn more about our software book your non-obligatory demo today! See it for yourself! We are sure that you will love it!

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About the Author

Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare