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How Early is too Early for School?

Parents are ultimately the decision-makers, and one of the most important decisions parents will make in their lifetime is; when should my child start going to school?

According to the Centre on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 90 per cent of a child’s brain development happens before the age of five. This is a period of time many refers to as the Golden Age of child development. During this early development of the brain, when it is at its most malleable, most brain functions of memory, learning, attention, stress response, and emotion are being moulded. Children need the right stimulation to achieve their developmental milestones, which a great early childhood education can provide.

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood education matters, and it has been proven that the earlier you invest in a child’s education, the higher the return. According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Early Childhood Education and Care has a significant economic and social payoff.

Many experts, including Nobel-prize winner economist James Heckman, have shown how early learning is a good investment because it provides the foundation for further learning.  This is also what HighScope Educational Research Foundation’s founder, David F. Weikart, has proven with the Perry Preschool Project, a research study seeking the answer to whether access to high-quality education could have a positive impact on preschool children and the communities where they live.

“90 per cent of a child’s brain development happens before the age of five” – Harvard Centre on the Developing Child

Knowing the importance of high-quality early childhood education, the next question would be: what enables a school to provide a high-quality early childhood education? What factors should one consider in choosing a school for their toddlers?

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), there are several factors to consider; the most important being having a curriculum with active participatory learning and adequate teacher training.

Proper monitoring and supervision of teachers by the school is also a must, this also ensures appropriate evaluation procedures of the children are being enacted. Parents’ involvement as partners for their child’s education is held in high regard, a home-school collaboration for the development of the whole child. Not forgetting things such as being attentive to the non-academic needs of children and proper teacher-student ratio.

All families are different in their own ways, but they all want the same thing, to give the best for their child. However, it is important to note that every child is unique.  In HighScope Indonesia, we believe that a school should do what’s best for the children, not for the parents nor the school themselves.

HighScope Indonesia’s Founder and CEO, Antarina SF Amir likes to say, “Children will do it (things) when they are ready for it.” Learning is a journey, not a race, and early childhood education is the right way to start a life-long process of continuous learning. HighScope Indonesia is redesigning the world by changing the way children learn. As children move forward to further learning in elementary, middle, and high school, we hold this belief to be true.

See: A Guide to Afterschool Activities in Jakarta

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