Preschool and Kindergarten - Foundations
The foundations for every child’s development (social, physical, emotional, and cognitive) are formed in the period from birth through to eight years of age.
Preschool and kindergarten children learn best through play! Play is essential for childhood development - children need to move, run, jump, climb and balance to develop a range of motor skills. Physical play with others also helps to build social and emotional skills as children practice taking turns, leading, following, and sharing. Parents and caregivers also benefit from the social value of shared community play spaces, which can serve as hubs for informal social connections and for services such as playgroups. Children at play are developing their senses, and responses to sensory input, through complex neurological processes. While parents and carers are constantly modelling relationships and behaviours to children, together they are creating the template for future learning.
Parents and carers are a child’s first teachers and important advocates for their children. See our section on 'Play & Learning' for information on brain development and play.
Partnering with educators
Quality early childhood education is founded on partnerships with parents and carers. Collaboration builds mutual trust and respect and is a cornerstone of high-quality programs for children. Through partnering with families, educators plan experiences and play that help children develop skills in social and emotional learning, and the foundations of language and literacy; as well as science, technology, engineering and math; dramatic play; creative arts; and physical activity. Children are developing foundation skills they’ll use their whole lives.