By Carolyn Leis
Some parents may fear that early learning may not be as beneficial to their kids as it’s stated to be. In order to erase such fears, you need to properly evaluate all the evidence against and for childcare.
Research Findings Against Early Learning
Various studies, carried out in the US during the 1980s, revealed some supposedly negative aspects of early learning in young children. In those studies, it was seen that weekly non-parental care lasting over 20 hours was potentially detrimental to parent-infant bonding. A child’s behavioural and psychological adjustment was seen to be at risk, based on the studies.
As any reasonable parent would do, before making rush conclusions that early learning is bad, it’s always wise to further compare these findings with other contrary studies. As you may already realize the conditions of early learning in the US is vastly different from other countries, such as Norway, where early learning was found to have great beneficial advantages.
Research Findings Supporting Early Learning
A Norwegian-based study revealed a wide variety of beneficial aspects derived from early learning, which is quite a contrast to the studies carried out in the US. This study involved a huge number of children, totalling 75,000.
Mothers were required to give information concerning their children’s behaviour at 18 months and 36 months of age, as these children went through early learning programs. It was important to identify ‘externalising problems’, something that shows such problems as attention and aggression when a child is ‘acting out’.
From this study, it was seen that early learning, no-parent environments were not responsible for causing any behavioural problems. What this proves is that quality learning is actually more beneficial, rather than harmful for little children.
The early learning environment in Norway offers a much better regulated system, compared to that of the US. This is why it’s possible to have much higher quality care for young children in Norway than in the US; which eventually leads to a beneficial environment.
This is much like what you would find when comparing different parenting environments. There are some parents who would not do a good job of raising their kids, which would lead to problem behaviours in such kids. On the other hand, there are parents who would do their best to give their children the best care, which will set them up for a much better life. Therefore, the issue wouldn’t be that parenting is bad; rather, the quality of parenting is what matters.
Even further studies in the US have revealed the benefits of quality early learning programs. This is the case with the Early Head Start programme that offered care to children in 3,000 families. The children who underwent such a programme were seen to possess many beneficial traits, including: less aggressive behaviour, sustained attention, and better language and cognitive development.
Indeed, good care for children would also offer much more benefits to kids coming from disadvantaged homes. Such early learning environments would provide the much-need intellectual and developmental stimulation that poor kids may not have at home. This shows just how valuable a universal early learning program is in society.
Carolyn has a deep passion for creating the best learning environment possible to young children. Her commitment is evident in the lives of all children in Making a Difference Child Care centres. Make an appointment with her today for enrolment of your child. Kindly just visit us at http://www.madchildcare.com.au/ for more details.