For Babies and Young Children, Early Learning Equals Nurturing and Being Allowed Safe Beautiful Space To Move and Explore
I have been providing nurturing environments for infants through six year old children as a teacher-caregiver for the past 27 years. Through my professional training and experience, and as a mother of four, I have come to feel very strongly about the true needs of infants and young children. I am happy to hear that congress is moving toward a bill to support the growing need of families and children for accessable, quality care. I am only wary of the "early learning" part of it. Current research strongly shows that gimmicks such as "baby einstein" videos, and other children's media programming, as well as preschool programs focusing on academic subject matter all do the opposite of their stated goal. They inhibit children's movement, gluing them to screens, or giving them concepts their cognitive systems are not ready for. The way infants and children learn and their brains and bodies develop in a healthy and strong way so that when it is appropriate they can sit still at a desk and learn is through MOVEMENT and exploration and manipulation of their environment. To do this, children need to be well cared for and feel safe. That is where the "system" can help: educating and re-educating caregivers and teachers and parents about the basic, true needs of infants and children. The times and stresses have changed, but these needs have not. Infants and children need love, consistent routines, safe and interesting (not "educational" or overstimulating) environments and space to play, be quiet, run, jump, sing, skip, hop and rest..and good quality foods to nourish their growing bodies. If this new bill will help accomplish these true needs of children, I'm all for it!