The early years in a child’s life have a huge impact on the rest of their life. Hence it is important to provide them with a fertile and nurturing foundation to aid their growth and development, and adequately equip them for their onward journey. Besides introducing structure and routine, it is also important to hone their cognitive, emotional, language and social skills..
As a parent, one wants to provide one’s child with the best opportunity by complementing their parenting with an appropriate Early Years educational setting. A playschool, also known as the nursery, is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to a child before a he/she progresses to a more formal education system.
Here are some of the potential benefits to your child’s overall development if enrolled in a nursery.
A Safe Space for Exploration
The key to a nursery education is to provide children with a comfortable environment in which they feel safe, as they would in their own homes. This creates an atmosphere in which they feel encouraged to explore their surroundings, and engage in activities like drawing, playing, music, singing, etc. The top nurseries in Dubai, Dubai Marina, and Jumeirah area uphold these standards.
Builds social and emotional growth
Nurseries provide the ideal, monitored environment in which children learn to identify, interact and communicate with peers. They are introduced to the practice and importance of teamwork and cooperation. Such exposure inculcates in them the indispensable values of sharing and camaraderie. These are essential foundations that will equip them for learning that will occur in elementary school. While identifying an appropriate nursery or preschool for your child, it is imperative to find a setting which offers a formal and well-planned curriculum
Preparing children for Big School
The foundation built during these formative years prepares toddlers and young children for “Big School”n, both socially and academically. They not only get accustomed to being in an environment with other children outside of their home, but start thriving when given the ideal stimulation and exposure. Structured learning experiences and being familiarized with instructions also prepare them for a more formal education. It is an essential stepping stone in their growth as it helps them develop communication and social skills which they will need as they grow older.
Things to consider when choosing a nursery or preschool
Children as young as 6 months can greatly benefit from the social interaction and learning experiences they would be exposed to in a nursery setting. Parents may choose to start off with sending their children 2 or 3 times a week, and then increase to 5 days a week later.
Children usually spend between 3-4 hours per day under under the supervision of qualified and experienced teachers. The teacher-child ratio should ideally be around 1:3 for babies below 1 year, 1:4 for 1-2 year olds, 1:5 for 2-3 year olds and 1:7 for 3-4 year olds.
Staff and Safety
The staff, and most importantly the teaching staff, will play an important role in your child’s early development. The bond or connection between the child and the teacher will help children not only academically, but will also encourage socializing and making real-life connections. The teachers need to have an Early Years qualification, good credentials, and a professional yet warm approach. While visiting the preschool, it would be advisable to observe the interaction between teachers and the children, so that you can assess for yourself whether it is aligned with what you would want for your child.Be fully satisfied with the credentials of the school staff and school facilities before enrolling your child; you are leaving a part of yourself in their care, and deserve that peace of mind.
After narrowing down your choices based on recommendations, reviews and location, make an appointment with the schools for a visit. Make sure to check out all facilities the school has to offer. You can make a checklist beforehand of what you would like to assess, and also input additional observations that you make as you tour. Do not hesitate to ask what you might think are the most basic of questions. Bear in mind some basics like – fire drills, safety, medical care, playground equipment, cleanliness, etc.
Another important factor to consider is the safety and security of your child. Make sure that the school adheres to all safety protocols required by authorities.
Make sure to ask which curriculum or educational framework the nursery follows, or accreditation, if any; these are a reflection of the standards in level of care in an academic environment. There is a wide variety of different curriculum options available, depending on what works best for your family and child’s requirements. British nurseries in Dubai have a reputation for their unique curriculum and effective approach focusing on individual children’s differing needs, which have caused a surge in their popularity in Dubai recently.