Associate Professor Susan Krieg discusses the educational benefits of quality childcare.

Did you know that children who received quality early learning received better NAPLAN results in an Australian study?

This is the second part of Associate Professor Susan Krieg's blog piece for The Parenthood.

What are the educational benefits of childcare?

The short term benefits are that they are much more use to being part of a group. They have learnt that they have to share and have to wait for an adult’s time.

In Australia, we have got a study in Victoria that shows children who were in early childhood centres where there were qualified educators have received better NAPLAN results.

The US studies show the greatest results of the long-term benefits. So Children who have experience quality early childcare are much less likely to exhibit delinquent behaviours, criminal behaviours and addiction.

There is an emerging body of research from the UK, which has traced children up until the ages of twelve, shows that children who participate in high quality childcare and preschool outperform their peers in terms of literacy and numeracy.

There are studies that say long periods of childcare can be detrimental to a child’s development, but often these studies don’t consider the quality. So I ask parents when you read or hear of something like that your first question must be what was the quality of the childcare?

How do we shift the national discussion productivity to the educational value?

I think the parents are the most powerful group to shift that. We’ve tried, we are doing our bit as researchers whenever I can, I write for the public. It is ultimately parents’ perception and politicians, but parents influence politicians perceptions.

We can be pointing to the countries and we should be pointing to the countries whose educational outcomes are superior to Australia’s and look at their early childhood systems not just being about productivity but those children have access to quality early childhood from birth onwards. Parents are a very powerful group in terms of shifting the perception.

This is the second part of Associate Professor Susan Krieg's blog piece for The Parenthood. Click here to read the first.

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