First five years last a lifetime

Valley College shows its commitment to education for all ages with degrees and certificates in early education programs.

By Melinda Henricks, Staff Writer

Many students either have children or are planning to have children. As the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Researchers now understand that there is tremendous scope for shaping the brain in the early years of life. The past two decades revealed new information that allows parents the ability to promote healthier children with more self-confidence. Valley College programs reflect the epitome of these principles.

While the debate about nature versus nurture continues, research shows that children are pre-wired to learn in a play-based environment. Finally, we have realized that children excel in a stress-free setting where they are able to play and make choices while neural connections attach. Although children advance in different stages, there are guidelines that help distinguish delays, and systems in place to help at an early stage if necessary.

Some parents or caregivers have tried to force learning issues on infants and toddlers causing confusion and stress. In fact, children may be able to memorize well, if pushed;  however, this is not the way their brains work. The National Association of Young Children’s Education recommends a low-stress environment with multiple opportunities and choices as an ideal way to identify a child’s preferences, promote development, and evaluate progress.

Pre-school is a not what it used to be. There are now educational requirements that require degrees as well as intern hours for certification of teaches and workers. There are also certificates that can be achieved with early childhood education classes.

Other important aspects of early education are bonding and socialization. According to NAEYC, young children excel when they are in an environment where they can learn to share and communicate with their peers. Additionally, this is another methodology of evaluating a child’s growth and progress. Scientists have concluded that the emerson of balanced opportunities will lead to early identification of problems or issues that infants and toddlers may experience. Teachers and workers are trained to assess and evaluate educational milestones. If a milestone is missed, a child may never be able to recover properly.

This is why we call the first five years of life the most important years in development. Early-childhood education has become a very popular choice for many students. The scope of the educational process includes knowledge of learning disabilities such as language and cognitive delays, as well as autism and other diagnosable delays or issues.

In case you had not noticed, we have a properly designed child development center here at Valley. The center was constructed as the brain child of the teachers and staff with the children in the center for both student evaluation and protection. The Child Development program is comprehensive. There are certificate programs for workers and teachers. There are also certificate programs for special needs children as well as infant and toddler care. There is a degree based curriculum for transferring students. In addition, there are an array of classes and services available to the students and the community. The classes offered for the community range from parenting and mommy and me to play dates where toddlers interact. There is a state-of-the-art pre-school with enrollment advantages for students. There is a waiting list and students should sign-up early. The child care center offers day and evening classes as well as balanced meals.

Consequently, the child development center has a fabulous reputation. In fact, many of the preeminent local pre-schools schools recruit workers from Valley College. So, if you have questions or needs, drop by or call and get information. You can also check out the child development website at lavc.edu/childdevelopment/index.aspx

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