The human brain is born ready to learn. In the first five years of a child’s life, they develop social and intellectual skills that they will take with them as they grow. Early childhood educators play a major part in this development, which is why we constantly strive to equip our future educators with the latest, proven methods of play-based learning.
In this article, we’re discussing how children grow foundations with the help of highly skilled early childhood educators.
The First Five Years of a Child’s Life
The developmental changes that occur in the first five years of a child’s life include their physical health, mental alertness, emotional understanding, social skills and a willingness to learn. These years are particularly important for the development of a child’s brain with the first three years considered the most critical in shaping the physical architecture of the brain.
Children’s first experiences provide the base for brain development — something they will carry with them throughout their lives. Children depend on their parents, family members and other caregivers to develop crucial skills, become independent, and lead a healthy and successful life. They grow and learn easier in nurturing, safe environments where they are protected against neglect and extreme stress.
Play-Based Learning in Early Education
Early childhood education aims to support parents and children from infancy through to age 8. This includes the major transition from home to school which can be stressful for children. Research has shown that focusing on play-based learning can be beneficial for children in the first five years of their lives.
Play-based learning focuses on developing intellectual skills, thinking and motivation by exposing children to people, objects and representations. They can explore different materials and environments to further develop their cognition, imagination and social skills.
The main benefits of play-based learning include:
- Encouraging language skills and vocabulary growth
- Supporting pre-literacy skills through music, rhyme, repetition and sound recognition
- Developing social and emotional skills through connections with other children and adults
- Releasing stress through calm, therapeutic play where the brain can process information and recharge
- Fostering creativity and imagination that will help them develop problem-solving skills
Learning through play results in a brain that has increased flexibility and potential for learning in later stages of the child’s life. This is considered by experts to be an essential tool in early childhood education.
Becoming an Early Childhood Educator
If you’re passionate about supporting children through their early stages of development, you can enrol in a course at TAFE Gippsland. Both the Diploma of Early Childhood Education & Care and Certificate III in Early Childhood Education & Care are fantastic tools for strengthening your skills and starting a career in this thriving industry. Both courses are eligible for the Vicotrian Government-subsidised training with the Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative.
Begin supporting the next generation of learners by speaking to a team member from TAFE Gippsland. You can call us on 1300 133 717 or contact us online.
Education - TAFE Gippsland
As your local TAFE, we’re passionate about giving everyone in the Gippsland region the opportunity to undertake quality and reliable pre-vocational training. We have campuses throughout eastern Victoria, from Warragul to Lakes Entrance, and we offer a diverse range of programs.
Our teaching methods and learning environments are specially designed to give students the chance to get hands-on, develop real skills and gain the experience they need to transform their future.
Studying at TAFE
Whatever stage of life you’re at, TAFE Gippsland has a variety of courses to help you achieve your goals – from preapprenticeships and accredited short courses to certificates and advanced diplomas.
Our courses are developed to give you the qualifications, skills and experience you need to work within your industry of choice and thrive in the modern workplace.
Best of all, our flexible study options mean you can complete your course in a way that suits your lifestyle – whether that’s full time, part time or online. And throughout your time with TAFE, the Student Support Services Team will be there to assist you with any study challenges, issues or questions you might have.
Tailored workplace training
TAFE Gippsland offers tailored workplace training to help Gippsland businesses upskill their staff and succeed in achieving their goals. So far, we’ve partnered with community, business and government organisations, delivering training in everything from first aid and customer service to automotive and aviation.
Whether you’re a large organisation or a small local business, we can provide your team with bespoke, high-quality and cost-effective education and training – delivered on-the job, in our purpose-built facilities or online.
Helping Gippsland thrive
For 85 years, we have been helping Gippsland communities thrive by empowering local students and supporting local businesses. But our influence in the region goes beyond our programs. It extends to a wide range of social initiatives that underpin an integral part of our mission as an educational institute – to participate in the social and cultural development of Gippsland.
Through projects including our Community Cafés, Pamper Days and Community Forums – where we invite anyone to share ideas on TAFE’s role in shaping the region – we’re continually enhancing our contribution to the wider community.