Giving little miss or mister opportunities to develop their physical, cognitive (mental), language and social skills has been proven to result in improved health, educational and employment outcomes throughout their life.
Which is where PlayBiz comes in!
How crucial this age bracket is for kids’ development is why we created PlayBiz, as a user-friendly roadmap that helps parents navigate their way through their child’s formative years. The destination? Developing junior’s crucial foundation skills and giving them the best start to a big, bright future!
We pride ourselves on the fact that all of PlayBiz’s resources are reliable, effective and built on credible theory (as well as founder Natalie Martin’s clinical experience as a childhood occupational therapist).
Below are some interesting and informative articles and papers we thought we’d share with you. They’re all based on the research and statistics surrounding school readiness, foundation skills and childhood education.
PlayBiz: little skills shape big futures.
This article discusses the alarming fact that a quarter of children are starting their school journey lacking basic literacy and numeracy skills such as being able to use a pencil, count or write their name.
Based on data collected from the 2015 on-entry assessments of pre-primary school students, the article states that “many parents were not aware of how important the early years were in a child’s development.”
The rise in everyday usage of smart phones, tablets and other devices is at least partially responsible for the decline in these basic skills because children aren’t engaging with the world or stimulating their fine motor control (small finger and hand muscle movement) as much. These skills are both fundamental towards school-based learning.
Research has emerged that 1 in 5 children are starting school with difficulties in at least one developmental area, with the statistics being even more dire in remote and rural regions.
This worrying statistic has led to experts calling the situation a ‘national emergency’ and pleading for policy changes to support more beneficial early learning environments for children. According to this article, not doing so will jeopardise the future productivity and international standing of Australia.
In fact, economists are putting it in practical terms, stating that “investment in early childhood development is the very best investment that any country can make.”
Professor Frank Oberklaid from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne further emphasises the importance of establishing positive early learning environments and creating positive trajectories for children, saying:
“We know that what happens in those early years has life-long consequences. Welfare dependency, illiteracy, crime participation, family violence, mental health problems, obesity, heart disease – the list just goes on and on.”
The author of this research paper, Nobel Prize awardee and university professor Dr James J. Heckman, recognises the role of quality early learning experiences and opportunities in laying the foundation for successful, motivated learning throughout school and later in life.
Citing psychological and cognitive research, Dr Heckman states that“early learning begets later learning and early success breeds later success.”Dr Heckman also reinforces the importance of complementary learning environments such as the home for skills formation.
He further asserts that “people who participate in enriched early childhood programs are more likely to complete school and much less likely to require welfare benefits, become teen parents or participate in criminal activities. Rather, they become productive adults.”
Produced by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, this research paper stresses the significance of early childhood as“a critical time for positively and effectively influencing children’s developmental andlearning pathways.”
Furthermore, according to the national and international studies the paper references, how children perform at 4–5 years of age predicts their academic success throughout primary school.
The authors also recognise that supporting families in their endeavours and roles within their children’s lives “is a key protective factor for the early years and a key component in the design and delivery of high-quality, effective early years programs.”
They add, “by getting it right in early childhood, we plant the seeds for tomorrow’s engaged and active student, productive and skilled worker, and confident and loving parent.”