‘Brain Time’ In Nurseries

While we know the importance of early childhood education, the majority of parents are unaware of how early on in their child’s life education should actually begin. BBC.com released an article last month highlighting a report from children’s charity, Save the Children, who partnered with the Institute of Child Health at University College London, which depicts the vitality of brain development at the preschool age.

Since the report, Save the Children has shed light on the importance of brain stimulation for toddlers during their nursery years, and has prompted government to take action. During a child’s nursery years their brains are developing at a rapid pace, working to make connections and synapses. It’s been suggested that during this time in a child’s life, you’re establishing their life-long learning patterns. In the first three years of child’s life, their brain has up to twice as many synapses then it will as an adult. By the age of three, a child’s brain has reached 80 percent development, which further fortifies the importance of education in nursery schools. Without the proper development during this age, your child could be set back for years to come.

The report, from Save the Children, suggests that the government should substitute playtime with “brain time” where children are educated by qualified early year teachers. The article goes on to share suggested findings from Save the Children that show almost 130,000 children in England last year were behind in language abilities prior to reaching primary school.  Those findings reiterate the relevance of early childhood development, starting at the nursery level.

Save the Children also conducted a survey of 1,000 parents from England. The survey showed that 47% of parents hoped their child would know 100 words by the age of three, when that is only half the recommended number. Of those parents, 56% felt as though they didn’t understand their child’s early learning. Not only are parents unaware of the level of development their child should reach by a certain age, but they’re also lacking the proper resources and advice to ensure of this.

The objective of the report, is to better support our children’s success by focusing more of our efforts on their early years. While hiring early year teachers for nursery schools will certainly promote and strengthen development for children, it comes at a cost to nursery schools. Neil Leith, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, shared his reservations on Save the Children’s proposition, “Without the funding needed to enable providers to pay graduate-level wages, this ambition, while admirable, will be impossible to achieve in practice.”

Childcare Minister, Sam Gyimah, commented on the nation’s education gap, “This government is raising the bar and making a significant investment in the early years sector,working closely with the profession to help improve its status.” With the proper assistance from government agencies, nurseries can drastically boost children’s early learning and parents can feel more supported.


What are your thoughts on early childhood learning? Check back for more education blogs from Panos Petropoulos!