This blog is aimed at any parent who is looking for advice about child care and early learning. I do not work in this industry. My name is Keira, and I am just another loving parent who wants the best for her child. When my child was 2 years old, I decided to return to work. This was the beginning of my search for child care. Over the next couple of months, I learnt lots of useful things from other mothers and those who work in the industry. I hope this blog helps you to make the right choice when it comes to child care.
If you're an avid reader yourself, you already know that a love for reading can be one of the most powerful tools in a child's arsenal. Reading helps build literacy skills, develops imagination and creativity and teaches children how to enjoy quiet gratification. There's a lot you can do at home to encourage your child to read, but what happens at kindergarten is largely out of your control. That's why it's important to find a kindergarten that cares about reading just as much as you do. Here are three things you should look for to find the best book-loving kindergarten program.
A Vast and Varied Library
Unarguably, the most important thing to look for in your child's kindergarten is books. After all, without books, your child will have few opportunities to read. You'll want to choose a kindergarten that has a wide selection and a wide variety of books. The library should include both fiction and non-fiction, covering as many genres and topics as possible—from fantasy to biography. It's also important to note that even at the kindergarten stage, reading abilities in one classroom can vary greatly, ranging from no reading ability at all to reading at a primary-school level. If your child is still getting to grips with reading, books that are too hard can be off-putting. Likewise, advanced readers get bored of easy books quickly. So, look for a kindergarten that has books to suit beginner, intermediate and advanced readers.
For young children, building a love of reading isn't just about letting them read on their own. Most children also develop reading enthusiasm through listening to oral storytelling. When perusing kindergartens, pay attention to the daily schedule. Ideally, you'll want to see regular story-time sessions where all the children sit quietly and listen to their teacher reading from a book. The best kindergartens will go beyond listening alone and include active participation, using aids like puppets, cards and even dance. This engagement grips children even more, encouraging them to read more on their own.
Great Writing Tools
Finally, don't forget about writing. Reading and writing go hand in hand; if a kindergarten puts effort into written literacy, you can trust they care about reading too. Your child's kindergarten should have a literacy centre with a wide variety of tools, including pens and crayons, alphabet blocks, word puzzles and letter tiles, mini whiteboards or chalkboards and anything else that could aid in overall writing and literacy development. As your child learns how to write, you'll find their reading skills become even better.
Keep these suggestions in mind as you look for a kindergarten to enrol your child in.