Early Education: Playing and Growing
The best childcare centers partner with parents, sharing the goals of protecting, guiding and nurturing each child’s health, development, and well-being. With experienced and enthusiastic teachers, youngsters thrive, make friendships, prepare for kindergarten and build a strong foundation for success. Learning takes place as they manipulate and experiment with things and interact with people.
Creative play and activities that encourage children to use their imagination go well beyond common childhood pastimes like playing dress-up or role-playing. Engaged creative play has been found to help children develop essential learning and social skills, such as:
- Empathy and cooperation
- Communication and language skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Creative and imaginative thinking
Interaction with Seniors
As it turns out, children and seniors are a natural fit for learning and daycare. Many seniors enjoy the ability to impart their knowledge and help children with academic skill building, such as learning to read and developing critical thinking and emotional reasoning skills.
According to data from existing programs, children who interact with seniors in a daycare or classroom setting experience a number of remarkable benefits, including:
- Improved reading skills
- Social and communication skill building
- Problem-solving abilities
- Less likelihood to experiment with illegal drugs and alcohol
- Less likelihood to skip school
And the relationship is a two-way street. Children have a positive effect on their senior mentors, such as learning new technologies and improved memory and physical well-being than their peers. Some studies have shown that seniors who interact and form social bonds and connections with children have lower risks for physical decline and accidents, lower blood pressure and lessen cognitive decline.
Early education and intergenerational programs are available on SALMON’s Natick and Northbridge campuses, programs include:
- Infant program
- Toddler program
- Preschool program
- Pre-K program