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Early Childhood

The ABCs of Early Childhood Education:

All children begin to learn long before they start school.  In fact, how and what they learn during these early years largely determines their future, in school and in life. 

Being nurtured by healthy, responsive families and caregivers enables children to grow up happy, healthy and confident. 

Children who have opportunities to read, run, explore and create, both indoors and outdoors, grow up to be life-long learners.  

School Readiness Checklist

Kindergarten is an exciting new time for parents and children.  This checklist enables families, caregivers, early care and education staff to plan activities that promote skills expected of children entering kindergarten. (appropriate activities suggested)

Emotional and Social Skills
(building confidence, learning about the world around them and making friends)

1.      Make simple rules for your child and practice them. (brush teeth, put dirty clothes in a hamper, use basic manners)

2.      Talk about your child's feelings and other people's feelings during the day.

3.      Invite friends over to share toys.

4.      Play games with simple directions and taking turns. (Hide-n-seek, Simon Says, board games, card games)

5.      Choose appropriate household chores for your child.  This helps them take pride in their contributions to family life. (fold laundry, set the table, water plants, rake leaves and enjoy playing in the piles!)

6.      Have your child plan an outfit to wear, a family meal, a play date or even a picnic.

Language and Literacy Skills

(listening, speaking, reading and writing about their ideas)      

1.      Speak clearly, use complete sentences and listen carefully to your child.

2.      Sing songs and recite simple nursery rhymes, poems and fingerplays together. (ABCD... Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Itsy Bitsy Spider...)

3.      Read to your child daily. (visit the library)

4.      Look at family photos and magazine pictures and discuss them. (ask who, what, when, where and why questions)

5.      Enjoy looking for and pointing out words, letters, shapes and colors everywhere you go. 

6.      Give your child crayons, markers and blank paper to begin scribbling and drawing creatively. 

                 A child becomes a reader on their parent's lap.

Math Skills
(learning about numbers, shapes, patterns, sizes and solving problems)

1.      Sort and classify objects into groups of different color, size and shape, then count them.

2.      Point out shapes and numerals in their surroundings. (the circle of a clock and wheels, the rectangle of a window, numerals on clocks, doors, signs and menus, play "I Spy" looking for shapes and numerals)

3.      Help them recognize and create new patterns and designs. (use their bodies: up-down-up-down, use blocks/pegs: red-blue-red-blue)

4.      Play with puzzles, Legos, pegs and beads to string.

5.      Use simple measurements during everyday routines. (organize objects by size, let child measure ingredients for simple recipes)

6.      Play with measuring cups and spoons in the bath and in the sandbox.