Benefits of early childhood education

Early learning helps children to be confident and curious about the world. It also helps them do better when they go to school or kura.

Already your child is learning through:

  • everything they do, see, feel, smell, taste and hear
  • everywhere they go
  • everyone who talks, smiles and plays with them.

Research shows that children who are involved in quality early childhood education (ECE) benefit in many ways, and that their family and whānau and the wider community benefit too.

ECE services build on the early learning your child is already doing:

  • at home with whānau
  • on the marae or at church
  • playing with their friends.

ECE can help your child learn important skills that will help them become strong, happy, and successful in later life.

Getting on with others

ECE helps your child learn to get on well with other children and with adults by learning to:

  • make friends, to share and take turns, and to co-operate
  • listen to others and to communicate their own ideas
  • be independent and to take responsibility for others’ needs as well as for their own.

Doing better at school

Children who take part regularly in quality ECE are likely to be confident and curious about the world, and this can help them do better when they go to school or kura. ECE supports your child to:

  • become resilient – to manage challenges and to stick at it when things get difficult
  • settle more easily at school or kura and to get the benefits of education more quickly
  • become life-long learners, for example:
    • talking, singing, and listening to stories build children’s language skills and help them to love books and reading
    • painting, dancing, making music, dressing up, and pretend play help to develop children’s imaginations and creativity
    • puzzles, number play, and counting games help children to understand maths concepts
    • building or construction activities, helping to prepare food, caring for plants and animals, and playing with water and sand (measuring and mixing) support children to learn about maths and science concepts.

Involving the whole whānau

ECE is fun and friendly – it’s something the whole family can share.

  • whānau are welcome at ECE services
  • ECE supports whānau to help children learn and grow
  • whānau understand the importance of education and get involved in their child's education early
  • the benefits of ECE spread to the whole whānau and to the wider community as well.

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