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 and built on credible theory (as well as founder Natalie Martin’s clinical experience as an occupational therapist working with children).
Below are some interesting and informative articles we thought we’d share with you around school readiness, foundation skills and childhood education.
PlayBiz: little skills shape big futures.
This article discusses the alarming fact that in 2015 in WA, pre-entry asssessment of a quarter of children starting their school journey in public schools were lacking basic literacy skills such as the ability to write their name or recognise simple rhyming words.
The article quotes a teacher stating that "many parents were not aware of how important the early years were in a child's development".
The teacher noted the rise in everyday usage of smart phones, tablets and other devices as being at least partially responsible for the 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.
This article states 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 an expert 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 suggesting that “investment in early childhood development is the very best investment that any country can make.”
The author of this opinion paper, economics 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.
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.
Heckman reaches the conclusion 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 resource sheet stresses the significance of early childhood as “a critical time for positively and effectively influencing children’s developmental and learning pathways.”
Furthermore, the authors summarise their insights by stating that children's literacy and numeracy skills at 4–5 years of age are a good predictor of 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.”