The Need For ‘Quality’ In Your Child’s Early Education
As parents, we’ve all been there. Stuck and confused trying to decide on the best preschool for our children. This does not only limit itself to preschool but also involves choosing the best for our children’s wants and needs. When it comes to education, I think every parent understands the importance of quality. Investing in quality education for your child is one of the best decisions that a parent can make in his/her life.
In this article, we shall take a look at why this is vital to your child’s developmental needs and lay out the reasons why it is worth every penny when you invest for your child’s education. Let’s explore James J. Heckman’s Four Big Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Development.
Heckman is a distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and a Nobel laureate. He proposed the following four reasons why parents should invest in quality early childhood education:
1- Preventing the Achievement Gap
Heckman asserts that children who are given good opportunities in learning during their earliest age display learning competencies in many areas of learning. When your child is top of his/her class and is able to keep up with others in his/her class, there will be no achievement gaps that you, as a parent, have to address as they get older. Such gaps include delays in speech and language or even, problems with math.
The benefit of this is that to address these gaps are costly. Think of additional classes that you might need to sign up for your children or extra learning materials just to make sure your child keeps up which is why Heckman states that it is “economically efficient than trying to close the gap later on”.
2- Improve Health Outcomes
This might come as a surprise but quality early education is linked to healthy children, physically and emotionally. This is because most quality early educational institutions and programmes offer an all-round, comprehensive approach to learning which does not only emphasize on a child’s progress in learning but also focus on the shaping of positive behaviour, boosting cognitive development, as well as strengthening physical health.
This is also how parents can determine whether such educational programmes offered by their children’s preschool are of good quality. Early childhood education must always be comprehensive and all-round. Again, addressing any health issues that might come about later will be costly.
3- Boost Earnings
Another reason that Heckman lists as why parents should invest in their children’s early learning is that children who are given quality early education will display better competencies in learning throughout their entire life. Therefore, with better achievements and qualifications in education, comes better career opportunities that offer better prospects of income in their later life.
Last but not least, Heckman states that it just makes complete sense. According to him, the return of your investments in quality early education for your children is better in terms of “education, health, sociability, economic productivity and reduced crime”. Children who have the privilege of attending good preschools and learning from excellent educational programmes become model citizens later on in life which overall contributes to the development of the nation.
So, knowing all these benefits, how do you as a parent determine whether a preschool or educational programme is of excellent quality for your children? Here are some of aspects to look out for:
Have safe standards of operation
A good preschool will minimize the risk of danger for your children. Teachers must display awareness and knowledge in handling children and prevent accidents from occurring within the school premise.
Healthy interactions between teacher and child
Interpersonal interactions between educator and child is also an important aspect that parents can observe when it comes to deciding whether a preschool is good for your children. Qualified and experienced teachers will understand how to communicate with children and have healthy conversations that will contribute to your child’s cognitive development.
Learning strategies address child’s needs
A quality preschool or education programme for your children will offer the most updated and advanced learning strategies such as 21st century learning in the preschool classroom. Before deciding, ask the principal or explore by yourself the ins and outs of the preschool.
Overall, it is never a waste to invest in quality early childhood education for your children.