The child-centred curriculum that we teach at Emali aligns the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) with our current understanding of brain development in children. The EYLF has been created by ACECQA, the governing body of children in Australia, and provides consistency and emphasis on what children at each age and development level are ready for. Our understanding of early brain development in children is informed by current research that allows us to understand how to apply the pedagogical theories that inform the EYLF to early neurological development.
10 Facts parents should know about their child’s brain development:
- Children are born with 100 billion neurons (brain cells), which are then pruned to ~86 billion by age 4 years. The brain prunes the neurons that the child doesn’t use in those first 6 years.
- As the child’s brain forms new synapses these are still very fragile. Children require plenty of sleep as this is the time when their brain experiences Alpha waves, during deep sleep, which cement these newly acquired synaptic connections.
- Babies are drawn to look at peoples faces and they learn what is important by following the eye gaze of adults.
- A child’s brain will learn and create social and emotional pathways after a single exposure however learning symbols, colours, numbers, language and reading requires multiple repetitions to create the neural pathways needed for memory.
- Children create instant emotions around each experience they have. The stronger the emotion associated with the experience, the more they learn about themselves and start to form an identity.
- A child’s brain develops from the bottom up in this order – the brainstem and cerebellum (fight/flight/freeze survival brain), the limbic system (emotional brain) and the prefrontal cortex (higher executive functions brain).
- The child’s brain also develops and activates from the back to the front, which is central to the child’s development of communication.
- The child uses the left hemisphere (logical, rules brain) and the right hemisphere (creative, expressive brain) to learn – this is how they engage in play-based learning.
- Children who are raised in an environment rich in conversation and verbal interactions learn 300 more words than children who are not frequently spoken to by their parents or caregivers.
- Positive social interactions enhances the speed and accuracy of learning in children – at every age.
Activities that help to stimulate your child’s emotional and social development
At Emali Early Learning, we have value-added programs that we offer for our children – free of charge to all our families. This includes our Language (Spanish and Auslan), Sport and Yoga classes provided to each age group at all of our centres. Depending on the season, popularity or demand, our centres will also have additional programs such as Soccer and Dancing.