Early childhood education helps develop young minds — one brush stroke at a time.

By Loretta Ellison

Preschool education comes in many forms and can be viewed as an investment in your child’s future. Children benefit from quality early childhood education in many ways, and it is the first step towards a bright and overall successful life.

A child’s early experiences can all be considered educational. Children are extremely curious and learn best through hands-on experiences; they also want their voices to be heard and to have a say in decision-making. These things all help them learn communication skills they will use every day. Hands-on learning also improves their daily task skills and gives them an understanding of the world around them.

Teamwork is another important skill for children to learn at a young age because it is a necessary skill to use on a day-to-day basis. At an early childhood education center, children will interact with their own age group and learn how to help others perform a common task and work cooperatively. Children require a lot of time and attention, and with an early childhood education as a fundamental part of their development, it is assured they get the exposure they need to develop these important skills. Children will engage in outside playtime, inside free time as well as structured learning experiences in an early childhood center; plus, they will develop beneficial new abilities, and existing abilities will improve with practice.

Some feel a barrier to early education can be the cost. Tuition for many quality childcare programs can be very expensive, and many families are not able to enroll their child in a high-quality program due to finances. Thankfully, there are ways to circumvent this obstacle.

Part-time care can be a good option for some families, as this will create less of a financial burden. Additionally, the state of Florida has programs to support many families with this expense. There are also government and state-funded agencies available to assist families with finding and paying for quality childcare services; Hillsborough County School Readiness, Head Start and Voluntary Pre-K (VPK) are just a few options.

Visit https://www.elchc.org/ for more details on these and other programs. The time a child spends in an early childhood education program has a positive impact on their life for years to come.

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