I know that children thrive in a play-based program. How do I convince my parents?

It could be argued that one of the most significant challenges faced by educators, is convincing parents of the value of play-based learning. So often parents have an expectation that our early education and care services will provide their child with a head start at school by delivering a robust academic style program. How do we convince parents of the value of play-based learning?

I’m delighted to say that Wendy Boyd (senior lecturer, School of Education, Southern Cross University) has delivered us the evidence we need in her piece in The Conversation (May 24, 2018) ‘What outcomes parents should expect from early childhood education and care’.

In her article, Wendy Boyd highlights the value of play-based learning. And, in answer to the question ‘what should three-to-five-year olds be learning?’ references ACECQA’s developmental milestones as well as the EYLF. She also provides links to research that demonstrates ‘children’s learning achievements are greater from play-based programs, which include activities such as block building, compared to programs that have an academic focus.’

She also makes an important point, and one that I think we’re all aware of. It is our responsibility as educators to explain our approach to families before they enrol their children. And, she also emphasises the importance of partnerships between parents and educators. I think that Wendy Boyd’s article has just made that task of explaining our play-based philosophy much easier. Once we have had that conversation, using EarlyWorks, educators can keep the communication open by sharing observations, journals, photos and comments that clearly evidence the ‘real learning’ that happens in our play-based programs.

If you’d like to read Wendy Boyd’s article, visit https://tinyurl.com/y7ezkkd7.

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