The early years of your child’s life are the most important as this is when they develop important skills they will need in later years. They develop physical, emotional, and social abilities to be able to deal with themselves and others. One more important aspect of their growth is their cognitive abilities, those skills that allow them to think, learn, remember, reason out things, solve problems and be focused. Quality child care is needed from a very young age to stimulate the proper development of these abilities.
What are Cognitive Skills?
Cognitive skills may be considered as the special abilities that a child need to be able to learn. The more important ones are thinking, memory and attention skills. A child gets his or her cognitive abilities through family traits. However, you will find that much of what he or she has can be learned.
How can Child Care Help?
Quality child care, whether from a daycare center, aftercare program, pre-school or other service can enhance your child’s thinking abilities. Here are ways child care providers can do this.
Help in Focusing – Child care programs engage children in many tasks. Children are encouraged to maintain attention on the tasks until they are finished. Children learn that it is the end product that really counts and so they will not stop until tasks are complete. They adapt and develop these skills over time.
Help in Ignoring Distractions – Children are easily distracted. However, child care providers know how to help them keep their attention on the most important task and not let them stray to do other things. When in a dance session for example, children will not be allowed to resort to play while the activity is going on. Many activities also teach them how to concentrate on two things at a time. They can be singing yet clapping, dancing, or jumping rhythmically at the same time.
Building Memory – In child care programs, children are read stories. They also are given opportunities to recall what was read when they are asked to draw, act, or describe scenes in the stories. They are forced to remember things in order to do them. A very effective memory building is when teachers ask children to explain or demonstrate to them or the class something they were taught. Simple card games where they have to remember the rules and cards that other persons have played can boost memory. Reading out aloud to children while acting out the scenes, or letting children read and tell back the story are important ways caregivers encourage their memory.
Engaging their Thinking and Reasoning – Child care programs do encourage play. This way children learn what causes things to happen and how they affect others. For example, a child may mix one thing with another and get an outcome. But he may start thinking that he could make it better by mixing more of one or including another item. They can learn that if you place too many blocks on top of a tower, their building may fall. Therefore they may need to support their building. When caregivers ask “What if” questions around a topic, it is the perfect element to spark their imagination and start thinking in different ways.
Quality child care programs can bring out the best in children. There are many opportunities for development and especially their cognitive abilities. If you are looking for a great child care in Albany, reach out to us at TSL Adventures. We would be happy to answer any of your questions to see if our program is a good fit for you and your family.
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This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.