Q: We have a kid who’s not yet ready for regular school. We would like to enrol him in a nursery. Please advise.

A: Global research has proven that preschooling and a high-quality environment in raising toddlers has lasting impacts even into adulthood. Children nurseries have become the stepping stone to mainstream schools, while helping to develop the cognitive, physical and emotional skills in a child.

Research also points out that the human brain develops fastest in the first five years of the lifespan, which means early childhood years lay the foundation for a child’s life. A good, qualified nursery plays a critical role along with support and care of parents. It is within the structured nursery settings that toddlers learn to behave independent of parental supervision, learn the important skills of reading, language, numeracy and acquire enhanced social and physical development skills in line with the learning goals and objectives set out for the early years.

Children benefit immensely from interacting with other children and are generally more prepared and better equipped socially when they eventually join mainstream schools. In fact, research indicates that longer pre-school attendance leads to higher cognitive gains when entering school.

My experience as an Early Years researcher also reinforces that significant learning happens with children in preschools, helping in their overall growth and development.

In addition, a preschool shares the responsibility in developing certain habits in children, such as eating by themselves, changing clothes and potty training. While obviously these are not the only reasons to send your children to nursery, parental assistance from a lifestyle point of view is definitely helpful. Working mothers can have extended support with teacher-parent partnerships at an all day nursery. There are benefits of being around peers; not only are children willing to try and learn new skills faster, but they are also more open to other new experiences. Parents can also rely on teachers to offer constructive advice and opinion on the development of children, since they witness their behaviour from a completely different perspective.

Vandana Gandhi is CEO and founder of British Orchard Nursery. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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