After the age of 2 and up until the age of 8, a child goes through rapid development and growth. It is during this stage that the foundations for their language and communication skills, socio-emotional skills, motor skills, creativity, and cognitive and intellectual abilities are established. The early years are especially crucial for a childâs holistic development. To this end, it is very important to provide children with a conducive environment, one filled with various stimuli and plenty of guidance and support, in which they can learn. This means providing a quality preschool education which will help build the strong basis upon which future learning and success will rest.
Apart from the cognitive skills that can be developed, children aged 2 to 4 benefit greatly in learning social skills from the environment provided in a preschool setting. They learn how to interact with other children, to make friends and learn to distinguish between appropriate behaviour and inappropriate behaviour. Moreover, being in a social and interactive environment fosters faster learning as compared to when having to learn alone. Young children learn from experience. So, interacting with peers is an excellent opportunity for them to explore and learn. Children also learn how to follow instructions, a crucial skill that they will require later on, especially upon entering the formal school system.
Ages 2 to 4 is the Singapore preschool age, when children start learning to be independent. Going to a preschool gives them that added experience in building other trusted relationships apart from with their parents. They start learning how to take care of themselves much earlier than if they were to stay at home. In preschool, they will be expected to tidy their belongings, put toys away, wash their hands, and eat their food properly. These real-life experiences, doing things themselves, gives them invaluable lessons. While it can be argued that all of this can be learnt at home as well, a structured preschool educationâs biggest benefit is the structure. Trained preschool teachers know just what a young child needs to develop holistically and how to encourage and exploit their curiosity for their development.
In Singapore, with more and more parents able to spend less and less time with their young children due to work commitments, preschool becomes crucial because children need an invigorating environment in which to learn and develop to the best that they can.
Playgroup is a word that is used very commonly nowadays. It is soon going to be a replacement for the term kindergarten. A playgroup can be defined as a kind of child care centre that gives care to children below the age of five. The child goes to a playgroup before going to school. The definition of a playgroup would be an organised group of care givers that provide care to the children and help them socialise before they venture out into their new journey of school life. Playgroups are more informal as compared to the preschool education that the children usually receive.
Playgroups are usually operated by those who are parents themselves. The care givers in playgroups are trained. They teach the children to interact and socialise with each other. Children hail from different ethnic groups and varied social backgrounds. Playgroup becomes like a common platform for children from different backgrounds. Thus, playgroups can be taken to be a perfect example of a globalised, inclusive and cosmopolitan culture.
The care givers in playgroup engage and involve the children in various activities to help them to socialise amongst themselves. This way children from varied backgrounds become friends with each other. Especially in places like Singapore, where children come from different ethnic backgrounds, playgroups are the best way to make them feel the unity in their diversity. Thus, playgroups in Singapore are very important.
Playgroup as a thriving industry:
With the increasing importance of playgroup in Singapore, they are now turning into an industry themselves. It is one industry that would hardly bear any brunt of the rising and falling of Sensex. Rather, this is one profit making industry that is not only thriving itself but is also letting other industries thrive. We all know that Singapore has a very thriving economy. For this economy to grow and prosper, the people of Singapore need to work and generate revenue. A major population of the professional class must be married with children. It would be impossible for the working parents to work well if they were constantly worried about their children. Thus these playgroups, by providing assurance to the parents that their children are receiving proper care, ensure that the parents work properly.
Hence, the playgroups functioning as a tertiary industry act as a catalyst that help and impact the smooth running of business for the other industries. Thus, it is important that the playgroup industry grow and thrive for other industries to work well.