Did you know that more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second during the first few years of a child’s life?
That’s right. All around the world, at this very moment, every infant is forming millions of neural connections in their brain, according to research from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child.
Even our prime minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, saw it necessary to spell out the implications:
“A child picks up language skills most easily and rapidly in his first three years. You miss that and it becomes much harder later on. In fact, it is best if they hear the language sounds as infants, before they are eight months old.
These key facts were highlighted to the nation in Mr Lee’s annual address for National Day. “Social and emotional skills need to be learnt early too: how to play with other children, how to be patient and wait your turn, how to behave when you do not get what you want.”
And there’s no doubt to the points he raised. Research shows that the early years of a child’s life are the most critical because of the growing changes that are happening, fostering profound and lasting consequences for a child’s future.
To ensure that their child’s brain is forming the right connections for optimal learning, parents need to put them in the right environment, one that ensures they gain the right skills, tools and most importantly, mindset needed to get that edge in school and life. This brings us to the importance of the preschool environment.
Here’s a fact you may not realise — a child will spend over 10,000 hours in preschool during their educational journey. The implications are undeniable. The preschool that a child goes to will essentially set the foundation of their learning habits and brain development.
How then, can you utilise these preschool years to the fullest? How do you ensure your child develops a brain architecture that will set the grounds for their future learning, behaviour and health?
A lot of parents feel that choosing a preschool for their child is a stressful decision. But that need not be the case, especially if you know the right questions to ask.
The secret in selecting the right preschool lies in 2 critical questions.
Question 1: What is the latest research behind why the school does what they do?
In the early childhood industry, anyone can set up a preschool and claim in their marketing that they are the best. No preschool will ever admit to a bad curriculum, so how can you find out whether a preschool is truly suitable for your child?
As a parent, you need and deserve to know the depth of the research behind a preschool’s curriculum. You need to ask the preschool to make clear their reason for choosing to teach a certain curriculum to the children.
If the answers provided by the school are backed up by the latest scientific research, you can rest assured that the school and its educators have an in-depth understanding on the stages of child development.
Question 2: How many hours of mandatory training do the teachers have to undergo in order to deliver the promise of a curriculum based on that research?
While it is good to observe the level of care and attention a preschool teacher gives to a group of children, it is also important to keep in mind the way that the teacher guides and educates the class.
Any trained preschool staff can interact well with children, but how many teachers can deliver the programmes effectively so that the children are actively engaged?
In most cases, teachers are recruited and deployed to start teaching almost immediately and will do so based on their previous experience. Thus, to the child, it’s the luck of the draw what quality of teacher they get.
By building the strong foundation needed for optimal learning during a child’s earliest years through quality curriculum and educators, they will gain an advantage in school and in life.
Therefore, you also deserve to know the amount of mandatory training a centre’s staff undergo to deliver the lessons effectively. After all, preschool is where over 10,000 hours of your child’s life will be invested in.
To prepare children for a future that no one can accurately predict, MindChamps developed its research-backed curriculum that is uniquely synthesised by award-winning and world-leading experts from the four domains of Education, Psychology, Neuroscience and Theatre.
While having an exceptional curriculum is important, it is only as effective as the teachers who execute it.
That is why MindChamps puts its teachers and specialists through up to 200 hours of mandatory and extensive training regardless of previous qualifications and experience, to ensure that your child’s mind is nurtured by only the most qualified and dedicated educators.
The holistic synergy of MindChamps’ programme and teachers has drawn widespread recognition, even extending to the honour of being hailed as a global education movement by #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Dr Joseph A. Michelli.
Find out what this can mean for your child’s future, and how selecting a preschool backed by the latest scientific research and delivered by extensively trained teachers can nurture your little one to their fullest potential.
Written by Clarissa Tan Shi En