Discovery

Prepping Young Ones for School Begins Earlier Than You Think

An individual’s brain develops more from the time of their birth to the age of 5 than at any other time in their life. In fact, 80% of our brains develop by age 3 and 90% by age 5! 

While parents typically think of school readiness as having the necessary pre-academic skills such as literacy and numeracy to be successful in school, primary school teachers stress social-emotional skills such as self-regulation, following directions, and positive social interactions with adults and peers as the skills that are needed to be prepared and successful in school and beyond. 

From the moment children are born, they begin developing their life skills. Advanced skills are built upon more basic skills. According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, “Recent research strengthens the view that early childhood programs support later positive learning outcomes in all domains by maintaining a focus on the promotion of healthy social-emotional development.”  

According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, “Poor emotion regulation can impair children’s thinking, thereby compromising their judgement and decision making.” Using early childhood classrooms allows children the opportunity to practice the skill of expressing environmentally appropriate emotions in a variety of settings.

Early childhood programs such as the YMCA Early Learning Community in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls provide more than a safe place for children to be while their parents are at work. These programs focus on social-emotional development in connection with their core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility and offer unique opportunities for social-emotional development to help better prepare children to be successful in school and even into adulthood.

These programs offer children the opportunity to practice turn-taking, impulse control, social interactions, empathy, and problem solving. They also provide children with a sense of belonging. 

Early childhood programs such as the YMCA Early Learning Community complete regular assessments of each child’s development. They conduct parent-teacher conferences to keep parents informed of their child’s development and are able to implement and adjust lessons based on the developmental needs of the children in their classrooms. 

According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, “Poor emotion regulation can impair children’s thinking, thereby compromising their judgement and decision making.” Using early childhood classrooms allows children the opportunity to practice the skill of expressing environmentally appropriate emotions in a variety of settings.  

Early childhood programs such as the YMCA Early Learning Community help prepare children to be school ready and set the foundation for lifelong learning.


 

Caroline Wee has 22 years of experience in education and oversees the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley Child Care Services Departments, including school age child care, summer camp, and early learning programs. The Eau Claire YMCA and Chippewa Valley Family YMCA have joined in partnership to become the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley, which is a community partner of Chippewa Valley Famly.

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