The foundation for every child’s social, physical, emotional and cognitive development is formed in the period from birth through to eight years of age with preschool and kindergarten beginning the early transition to school years.
Stimulating, challenging physical play is essential for early childhood development. Children need to run, jump, climb and balance to develop motor skills. Physical play with others also helps to build social and emotional skills, as children practise 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. They are creating the template for all future learning.
Parents, families and carers are a child’s first teachers and important advocates for their children. Quality early childhood education is founded on quality partnerships. Fostering collaboration amongst parents, educators and support professionals, based on mutual trust and respect, is a cornerstone of high-quality programs for children.
Qualified educators help children develop foundation skills they’ll use their whole lives. Children learn naturally through play, because it's fun, and with carefully planned experiences and recognisable teaching moments during play children develop skills in social and emotional learning; language and literacy; science, technology, engineering and math; dramatic play; creative arts; and physical activity.