How parents can support learning outside of child care

Supporting your child in early learning is a challenge for many working parents.  As a working Mum, Emily wanted to find a centre in Mascot that would be a home away from home for her toddler, Ava.  Finding a Mascot childcare centre was easy with the Space directory which gave her not just a list of centres but information about each one.  Armed with this information, Emily found a centre that showed her the best ways she could support Ava at home, things all parents could do with their child outside of childcare. 

Make the most of communication tools

Ava’s childcare centre has a strong system in place to ensure seamless communication between home and centre which included an app, a journal and regular notices from the centre.  Many centres will send photos and other items electronically to keep parents in the loop.  Make sure you fill out the home section of the journal regularly to keep the communication channels open. 

Talk, talk, talk 

Talk through your child’s day at home, encouraging them to tell you about their favourite activities.  Teaching children to narrate helps them develop strong literacy skills.  

Read, read, read

Have plenty of books at home.  Libraries offer free books on loan, and books can be bought cheaply from second hand book shops or swapped at community book exchanges.  Read with your child regularly and allow them access to the books so they can read or look at picture books on their own as well 

Get involved 

Take opportunities to take part in centre celebration days and events, even if you are just sending special food.  Talk about the celebration with your child and discuss its origins and symbolism.  Attempt to cook with your child to prepare the meal or cakes for the day or take them shopping to make a purchase. 

Craft centre 

Have space in your house for your child to get creative, set out with paint, clay, crayons and glue.  Have a choice of collage materials available such as feathers or sequins that can be purchased at low cost outlets.  Have containers and jars for paint brushes and plenty of paper.

If your child is not worrying about making a mess, they will be more inclined to create.  Having the confidence to use the materials at home will give them confidence at day care as well. 

Number support

Your child’s room and toy selection should include plenty of number games and posters with basic equations such as times tables.  Play counting rhymes around the house and count out objects with the child whenever possible.  Take your child shopping and show them price labels to help them understand the concept of money at an early age. 

Don’t be afraid to discuss your child’s learning at any time with your childcare coordinator.  Mascot childcare educators are open and eager to share each child’s learning journey with their parents as the best way to provide a holistic education. 

Mahir Garth

The author Mahir Garth